Police offer school bus tips for students and motorists

Now that kids are back to school, commuters will often find themselves in contact with school buses and local students getting on and off the buses. The Southington Police Department released some tips for drivers on Southington roads.

Connecticut law requires drivers to stop at least 10 feet from a school bus that has its flashing red signal lights activated. Police advise to remain stopped while the red lights are flashing, unless otherwise directed by a traffic officer.

“This applies to drivers traveling in both the same and opposite direction as the school bus,” police officials said in a press release. “At intersections, motorists are prohibited from turning towards a bus that has its red lights flashing.”

The penalty for passing a school bus while children are getting on or off is $465.

Police recommend that students walk to and from the bus stop. “Don’t run,” they said in the release. “Walk on the sidewalk when going to and from the bus stop. If there is no sidewalk, walk on the left facing traffic.”

Officers urge student to arrive at least five minutes before the scheduled stop. While waiting for the bus to arrive, police urge students to remain a safe distance from the road and avoid running and playing at the bus stop.

Here are some other tips for students at the bus stop:

  • Do not talk to strangers while at the bus stop.
  • Do not accept a ride from a stranger while at the bus stop.
  • If a stranger approaches you at the bus stop report it to your parents or teacher immediately.
  • Wait for the bus to arrive, watch for the red flashing lights and stop sing to be extended. Look both ways before crossing. Cross only when all traffic has stopped.
  • Only get off the bus at your designated stop.
  • Once you get off the bus after school go straight home so an adult will know where you are.
  • If you drop something near the bus, tell the driver before picking it up so that they will know in case they cannot see you.

“The Southington Police Department would like to partner with the motoring public to promote a happy and safe school year,” officials said in the release. “We will be conducting directed patrols with the goal of educating and deterring motorist from passing school buses that are loading and unloading children.”

For more information, contact the Southington Police Department at (860) 378-1600 or visit them on-line at www.southingtonpolice.com or on Facebook or Twitter. For emergencies, dial 911.

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