Board of Education Improves School Bus Safety
Here in Texas, it is illegal to pass a stopped school bus that has flashing red lights or a stop sign out. But that doesn’t stop many drivers from doing so. In 2013, Texas Highway Patrol officers caught 566 people passing a stopped school bus. (Just think of all the drivers that DIDN’T get caught) Children are especially vulnerable when entering or exiting a school bus, so some states are making school bus safety a priority.
North Carolina has recently implemented a new safety policy for bus drivers. Before, the driver would activate the flashing lights or the stop sign, and the kids knew it was ok for them to walk. If all drivers obeyed the law, this procedure would be enough. But, as we know, it’s not safe to assume that other drivers will stop. Now, North Carolina bus drivers must use hand signals to indicate whether it is safe for the students to cross or not. After stopping the bus and activating the flashing lights and/or stop sign, the bus driver puts a palm up as a signal for the students to wait. The bus driver then checks to see if it is safe for children to cross, and once this has been determined, the bus driver gives the students a thumbs up, which lets them know that it is safe to cross. New York has a similar school bus safety policy.
So far, the program has been successful. Bus drivers were trained while the students were out of school for spring break in April. The new policy was tested out in several counties before being adopted statewide.
It may not be long until a similar program is implemented in other states across the county.
Read the original article here.