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October 18-24, 2009 is National School Bus Safety Week

October 18-24, 2009 is National School Bus Safety Week

The Missouri State Highway Patrol would like to inform the public that October 18-24, 2009 is National School Bus Safety Week.

“Last year, one person was killed and 400 people were injured in school bus crashes. Missouri experienced 1,069 traffic crashes involving school buses,” said Colonel James F. Keathley, superintendent of the Patrol.

“Drivers must stay alert at all times, but especially in areas where
schoolchildren are traveling to and from Missouri’s schools.”

All motorists need to remember the laws pertaining to school buses.  Missouri law states on a two-lane road, if a school bus is stopped and displaying warning signals while loading or unloading children, drivers must stop when meeting and following the bus. However, it is only necessary to stop on a four-lane highway when following the bus. Drivers, when you see a stopped school bus, be alert. Children may not be aware of traffic and dart unexpectedly into the roadway.

“We encourage parents and teachers to talk to children about National School Bus Safety Week,” said Colonel Keathley. “Make sure they know it’s their responsibility to be a safe bus rider.”

Students riding the bus should remain seated until the bus comes to a complete stop and refrain from actions that would distract or require the attention of the driver. When waiting for the school bus, they need be aware of the traffic and remain in a safe area off the roadway. Once the bus arrives, make sure your student knows to observe the bus driver’s directions for safely getting on and off the bus.