CANFIELD, Ohio (WKBN) – It’s School Bus Safety Week across the USA. A ticket in Ohio for failing to stop for a school bus can run $500.
School buses are big, bright yellow, and the ride can be bumpy. The most important aspect of transportation, though, is safety.
“Statistically speaking, our school bus-related crashes are down from this time last year,” said Bridgett Matt, with the Ohio State Highway Patrol.
An Ohio student was killed on the first day of class in August, though, when a school bus was hit by a driver who had crossed the center line. Since 2018, there have been over 6,000 school bus-related crashes in the state.
“It’s a shared responsibility and not only is it incumbent on school bus drivers to be operating school buses safely, but also the other motorists who are sharing the road with school buses,” Matt said.
This year’s theme for National School Bus Safety Week is “BEEP! BEEP! School bus safety starts with me.” It’s a reminder to motorists and students about the dangers that exist outside the school bus. Students need to be careful getting on and off a bus. Driving near a school bus requires extra caution.
“Any motorist is required by law to stop at least 10 feet prior to a school bus that has a red flashing light displayed and their stop arm extended. And that’s in either direction,” Matt said.
Troopers are watching closely this week for violations related to school buses. It’s not just another driver’s responsibility. Troopers are also keeping an eye on bus drivers.
“And if they see a violation that the school bus driver is actually doing, they will stop the school bus driver for that and issue a citation if necessary,” Matt said.
The Ohio State Highway Patrol inspects each school bus before the school year and a random inspection during the year.