COLUMBUS – The week of Oct. 17 through 21 was designated as National School Bus Safety Week, and the Ohio State Highway Patrol has increased enforcement efforts on school bus violations, such as passing a stopped school bus, school zone violations and other school bus or school zone-related activity.
National School Bus Safety Week is supported by the National Association for Pupil Transportation and serves as a reminder to motorists, students, and school bus drivers of the important role they each have in ensuring children’s safety. This year’s theme is “1 Bus + 1 Driver = a BIG Impact on Education” a unique reminder to motorists and students about the dangers that exist outside the school bus.
“School buses remain the safest mode of transportation for students,” said Governor Mike DeWine. “By focusing on school bus safety this week, we can re-emphasize the importance of how motorists, school bus drivers, and students can work together to ensure our students arrive safely to and from school each day.”
Prior to stopping, school buses display yellow warning lights that signify the bus is about to stop. Once a bus comes to a stop, red flashing lights and a stop sign are displayed. Motorists approaching a stopped school bus from either direction are required to stop at least 10 feet from the bus while the bus is receiving or discharging students. When a road is divided into four or more lanes, only traffic driving in the same direction as the bus must stop. Drivers may not resume their travels until the bus resumes traveling.
“We are committed to protecting our students who ride school transportation,” said Colonel Charles A. Jones. “Although drivers are required to stop for school buses loading or unloading passengers, children should also check both ways and proceed with caution when crossing the roadway.”
Since 2017, there have been 6,434 crashes involving school buses in Ohio. Six fatal crashes took place during this time killing six people and injuring 2,076. None of those killed were occupants of a school bus.