Arkansas motorists share the roadway with more than 6,000 school buses each day. Over 30 of these school buses are operated by the Highland School District. State wide, bus drivers report a staggering number of instances where they are illegally passed by motor vehicles while loading or unloading students. The Highlands School District alone receives several of these reports per day.
Student safety doesn’t just start and end with bus drivers. Each motorist has a responsibility to keep our children safe. It is the duty of each member of the community to ensure these children arrive safely to and from school. It is illegal in EVERY state to pass a school bus that has its crossing arm extended and its red lights flashing. Learning the school bus laws for your state or community are one of the many ways you can help to keep our children safe while driving the roadway or in a school zone.
While driving in your community, it’s helpful to keep an eye out for school buses. Yellow flashing lights indicate a school bus is preparing to stop to load or unload students. Red flashing lights indicate a school bus has stopped and children are either getting on or off the bus. In both situations, a driver needs to be prepared to come to a complete stop until the lights are no longer flashing, the stop sign and crossing arm are withdrawn, and the bus begins to move.
Drivers should also be aware of students awaiting the arrival of their school bus in the mornings. During these times, children should be standing several feet from the roadway or bus stop. On occasion, they may even cross the street to board or leave the bus. Children can quickly run into the road which is why it is so important for drivers to pay attention.
While every effort is made to teach children proper bus safety, the responsibility falls on everyone. ALL DRIVERS should stop for school buses and never attempt to pass a stopped school bus. Always be aware of areas in which students are getting on or off the bus in your neighborhood.
For more information on Arkansas school bus safety laws check on the link below.