Labor Day weekend usually marks the end of the summer, which means the end of summer vacation for students across the state. As children begin their return to school, motorists will begin to see school buses making frequent stops throughout their neighborhoods. While many motorists are quite familiar with the rules in place, the beginning of the year is a good time to focus once again on some of the things that we can all do to improve safety and reduce motor vehicle accidents.
Many state and national agencies are currently conducting awareness campaigns for drivers that encounter a school bus. In New Jersey, there are specific rules in place, and motorists that break these rules can expect to be ticketed by law enforcement. Drivers must stop for school buses with flashing lights, whether they are behind or approaching the bus.
However, drivers will also want to keep their eyes open for any children near the bus. Often, kids will either run toward or away from the bus, not noticing any vehicles that may be nearby. If a driver is not prepared, a tragedy may happen.
Many schools are situated close to residential neighborhoods, where many drivers are familiar with the area because it is where they live. This could cause drivers to lose focus, becoming distracted by their common surroundings. Drivers need to be sure to check their blind spots when backing out of garages and driveways.
If you are driving in the morning or late afternoon, stay alert for children and school buses. Never assume that a child can see you approaching. Taking a few extra moments to get where you need to go can help improve safety for everyone.
Source: NJToday.net “AAA Mid-Atlantic & State Police Remind Motorists To Drive Carefully With Schools Opening” August 26, 2012.