CINCINNATI— School buses are the safest form of transportation for traveling to and from school. However, students face an increasing danger when entering and exiting the bus: motorists who fail to heed the school bus stop arm. First Student joins the National Association of Pupil Transportation (NAPT) in raising awareness for bus stop safety during National School Bus Safety Week, October 20 to 24.
Statistics show the most likely time for students to be injured is when buses are loading or unloading students. School buses use red flashing lights and an extended stop sign arm to indicate that the bus is stopped and children are getting on or off the bus. Within all 50 states and across much of Canada, it is illegal to pass a stopped school bus that is using its warning signals to load and unload children.
“When motorists illegally pass a school bus, it puts children at risk and may cost lives,” said Gary Catapano, First Student Senior Vice President of Safety. “Motorists need to educate themselves on stop arm laws because everyone in the community plays an important role in ensuring students get to and from school safely.”
The rules regarding school bus stop arms are clear. When a school bus stop arm is deployed:
- Motorists traveling the same direction as the bus must stop until the stop arm is retracted and the bus begins moving.
- Motorists traveling in the opposite direction must stop unless they are traveling on a four-lane road that includes a median.
National School Bus Safety Week takes place every year during the third week of October. The theme for 2014 is “At my Stop, you Stop.”
About First Student, Inc.
First Student, Inc. – a division of Cincinnati, Ohio-based FirstGroup America – is the largest provider of safe, reliable, sustainable student transportation services in North America. The company safely transports approximately 6 million students every day in the US and Canada, using a fleet of more than 54,000 buses. For more information, please visit www.firststudentinc.com.