With school starting in school systems throughout Alabama, motorists are cautioned to be especially careful as they travel along Alabama's streets and roads as school buses will again be on the road loading and unloading students across the state of Alabama.
According to the Alabama State Department of Education (ALSDE) Pupil Transportation Section, the most dangerous part of a school bus ride is when the bus stops to load or unload students. All too often, students are placed in danger by careless or distracted motorists who illegally pass a stopped school bus. In far too many instances, students are injured or killed as a result of these illegal passings.
In the ALSDE's most recent annual survey of illegal school bus passings conducted in April of 2013, 1713 motorists were recorded as illegally passing Alabama school buses in one day. Over an entire school year, this could result in over 308,000 illegal passings of school buses with each one endangering the life of students.
The following rules are not only important as school starts, but should be adhered to year round.
Parents should discuss school bus safety with their children. Here are some safety points for students who ride school buses:
According to Joe Lightsey, Director of Pupil Transportation, ALSDE, "The most dangerous part of a school bus ride is when the bus stops to load or unload students. We urge motorists to be particularly careful whenever they see a school bus stopping." Lightsey continued, "Alabama's children are our most precious resource. We owe it to them to make sure we do all we can to provide safe transportation to and from school."
Stiff penalties are also in effect for motorists identified as illegally passing a stopped school bus. A driver who illegally passes a stopped school bus can expect a fine of no less than $150 and not exceeding $300.
For more information on school bus safety, visit the ALSDE Pupil Transportation website.
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