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Back to School Safety: What drivers need to know when stopping for a school bus

Posted at 6:39 AM, Aug 21, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-21 22:32:45-04

DETROIT, Mich. (WXYZ) — The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration warns the most dangerous part of riding on a bus for a child is getting on and off the bus, no one knows that more than bus driver Simone Summers.

Simone Summers has been a school bus driver for the past six years and says she loves her job.

“The greatest thing is when I drop them off at school they give me a hug,” said Summers.

She says the most frustrating part of her job is watching disrespectful drivers on the road.

“Sometimes I have to put my arm out and point at the stop sign and make the person aware that they cannot go through the stop sign, that I have children crossing in front of the bus going to the other side of the street,” said Summers.

What drivers need to do when a school bus comes to a stop

The first thing a bus will do when it is getting ready to stop is put on their yellow blinking lights 200 feet before the stop.

Once the door opens, the lights will switch to red blinking lights, the stop sign will extend out and an arm cross bar at the front of the bus will pop open.

At that point your foot should be on the brake. When you’re on a two lane road, drivers on both sides of the road need to stop. Same rules apply if you are on a multi-lane road, both sides of the road must stop.

The only time you can proceed forward is if there is a medium in the middle of the road. The side with the school bus needs to stop, other drivers can proceed forward but should use caution.

Drivers that ignore these rules could face prosecution.

“There could be a fine up to $500 and you could serve up to 100 hours of community service,” said Aaron Walter, the Executive Director for Student Transportation at Detroit Public Schools Community District.