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Motorists should be on the lookout for school buses

12 August 2017

School bus drivers in Martinsville expressed concern to the district superintendent Thursday stating they felt their new bus routes were unsafe for students. Under Ohio law motorists are required to stop at least 10 feet in front -or behind - a school bus when flashing lights and the bus' mechanical "arm" is initiated.

School bus staff want to remind kids and drivers that bus safety is key during the school year.

These rules are a matter of life and death.

While bus drivers and students are well-versed in bus safety, officials hope others on the roads will be just as cautious.

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Unfortunately every year in the United States, children are injured and killed walking to and from school and while loading and/or unloading from a school bus. "Throughout a 180-day school year, these sample results point to more than 14 million violations among America's motoring public".

Drivers who illegally pass a school bus and are seen by law enforcement can be pulled over and issued a moving violation.

School buses also have the "Child Check-Mate System", which is an on-board electronic reminder system that ensures every child gets off the bus.

Motorists who are on a highway that is divided by a barrier or unimproved median (i.e. a concrete or cable barrier, or a grass median) are required to stop only if they are traveling the same direction as the school bus. After the bus comes to a stop, red flashing lights are activated, a stop arm extends and motorists need to stop a safe distance from the bus.

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Applicants must also pass a drug test and physical, criminal history checks by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Pennsylvania State Police, and a child abuse history check. Multi-lane roads with no barriers between the lanes, like some portions of SR 57S, all motorists must stop when the red lights are flashing and the stop arm is extended. Disregarding a school bus stop arm is a serious violation, one that school bus drivers are quick to report.

Fifteen other buses that failed last week's inspection will be re-inspected next week. Reduce speeds in and around school zones.

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, from 2003 to 2012, 174 school-age children died in school-transportation related crashes.

Students should remain 12 steps away from the bus, where the driver can see them.

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Motorists should be on the lookout for school buses