KEARNEYSVILLE, W.Va. (WDVM) — With school starting back up officials want to remind drivers to always use the rules of the road, especially when it comes to school buses.
Following the rules of the road includes making sure drivers are paying attention in school zones especially when buses are picking up and dropping kids off at school.
“Our goal is safety and we want to remind motorists just to look out for the kids out there and buses are very much a part of traffic they are a larger vehicle give them a little room and give them a break,” Joyce White said, the interim deputy superintendent of operations.
A local bus driver stresses children’s’ safety after a frightening experience with a driver running her red lights.
“You see a car approaching and there is no way they are stopping in time, I mean its scary that’s a big responsibility,” Pam McDonald said.
According to Pennsylvania State Police, annually over 700 motorists are convicted of violating the “stopping law.” Penalties include a $250 fine, five points on the violators driving record and a mandatory 60-day license suspension for first offenses. The Martinsburg police department says when you see the bus put on flashing warning lights. That doesn’t mean to speed up.
“It means to start to slow down it’s like a pre indicator just letting you know that the bus is about to stop,” Daniel North said, an officer at the Martinsburg Police Department.
To help ensure the laws are being followed, some states have cameras on school buses. Bus drivers also say they have a safety routine so the students can look and sense danger as well.
“They stop at the right-hand side, I check my mirrors and give them a thumbs up telling them that it’s safe to cross,” McDonald said. Officials urge drivers to be fully aware when driving during school bus operation hours.