COLUMBUS — This week is National School Bus Safety Week. This year’s theme, “Red Lights Mean STOP!” serves as a reminder for students, parents, teachers and the community to keep school bus safety in the forefront.
From 2017 to 2019, there were 3,967 crashes involving school buses reported in Ohio. During that time frame, five people were killed in five crashes and 1,322 injuries. None of those killed in these crashes were passengers on the buses.
“Ohio drivers need to watch for school buses—especially when they stop to drop off or pick up our students,” said Governor Mike DeWine. “Working together, we can ensure that school buses remain the safest mode of transportation for students to and from school.”
Prior to stopping, school buses display yellow warning lights that signify the bus is about to stop. Once a bus comes to a stop, flashing lights and a stop sign are displayed. Motorists approaching a stopped school bus from either direction are required to stop at least 10 feet from the bus while the bus is picking up or dropping off students. When a road is divided into four or more lanes, only traffic driving in the same direction as the bus must stop. Drivers may not resume their travels until the bus resumes traveling.
Also from 2017 to 2019, troopers cited 1,999 drivers who passed a school bus when they were required to stop.
“Although drivers are required to stop for school buses loading or unloading passengers, children should not rely on motorists to do so,” said Richard S. Fambro, Patrol superintendent. “Children exiting the bus should always stop and look both ways before crossing the street, remaining alert for any sudden traffic.”
Troopers will be highly visible this week along school bus routes and in school zones to ensure the safety of students.
For a complete statistical breakdown of school bus violations and crashes, visit https://www.statepatrol.ohio.gov/links/School_Bus_Bulletin_2020.pdf