School bus safety: what motorists need to remember while driving

STARKVILLE, Miss. (WCBI) – First responders spent much of the morning at the crash site, first helping the students and drivers. Then, they assisted the MHP with accident reconstruction.

They all agree. You just can’t be too careful when school buses are on the road.

WCBI talked to the officers who work accidents and get their advice on being cautious drivers.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, School buses are the most regulated vehicles on the road.

They are designed to be safer in preventing crashes and injuries to students.

Buses are easy to spot but not all drivers are paying attention.

Sammy Shumaker with the SOCSD Police Department said it is important to be a cautious driver.

“When school buses are stopped to pick up children or unload students, everybody, every motorist needs to be very attentive to that because we around the country have had accidents where people have passed stopped school buses and we’ve had students killed around the country and we don’t want to suffer a tragedy like that,” said Shumaker.

Staff Sergeant Derrick Beckom with the Mississippi Highway Patrol explained the importance of being cautious at intersections.

“Intersections are very dangerous because sometimes when you pull up to those you may not can see as far as you want to or you may not be able to judge the speed of the coming traffic, ” said Beckom.

Law enforcement officers suggest giving buses the right of way at an intersection because they make wide turns.

When it comes to driving near a bus, there are a few things to keep in mind.

“You want to be mindful of the buses. Be sure and stop when the sign is out to stop. Also, looking and paying attention as if it were your child or loved one getting off and on the bus, ” said Beckom.

Shumaker spent the day at the accident scene. He said the most important thing to remember is to put down distractions.

“Put down your cell phones. Pay attention to the streets and the highways because school is in session now and we have school buses stopped to pick up children and unload children. At the same time we have students that are pedestrians, ” said Shumaker.

The old advice is the best advice.

Look both ways, and come to a complete stop when driving near a school bus.

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