Virginia State Police remind drivers to keep bus safety in mind as kids head back to school

Published: Aug. 8, 2022 at 7:18 AM EDT
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - Some students in school districts across our hometowns are headed back to the classroom Monday.

“Kids are crossing the road either to go home or get on the bus. If people aren’t paying attention, they’re putting lives in jeopardy,” said Sgt. Richard Garletts with Virginia State Police.

The start of school is here, which means there will be more school buses on the roads in our hometowns.

“Truthfully when a kid gets off the bus, he’s excited, he’s ready to be home, he’s going to run and you don’t, the person that’s behind the bus has no idea of which way they’re going,” said Garletts.

Garletts said it’s important to know the rules of the road when it comes to stopping for a bus.

“Yellow light means the bus is getting ready to either discharge or pick up. The red light means they’re in the process of discharging or picking up. Now a lot of people are unclear of when they should stop for a school bus… If it’s a four-lane road and there’s a median in it, then you don’t have to stop when you’re approaching the bus, but you have to stop when you’re on the same side of the bus from behind. If it’s a two-lane road, you’ve gotta stop everywhere,” said Garletts.

It’s also the law.

“It’s a reckless driving charge. It’s a class one misdemeanor where you’re putting somebody’s life in danger if an encounter happens and it can start there and can go much higher to a manslaughter or something of that nature. Kids are going to be out. Summertime is over, so just be watching for the children and make sure you’re paying attention to the flashing lights for the school zones,” said Garletts.

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