With school back in session it’s important that drivers be watchful for students walking or traveling by bus to and from school.
District bus drivers participated in in-service sessions early in August to prepare for the school year. Some 200 drivers gathered for large group and break out sessions on a variety of topics. Safety is always a priority area of focus. Cedar Rapids police officers joined the discussion where bus drivers expressed an ongoing concern with the need for other drivers to follow the rules when approaching a bus.
Drivers should always slow down in school and residential areas and observe the following rules:
· Flashing yellow lights on a school bus means the bus is preparing to stop. On a two-lane road, it is illegal to pass a school bus from behind when yellow lights are flashing.
· When approaching a school bus traveling in the opposite direction, a driver must slow the vehicle to 20 mph or less when yellow lights are flashing and be prepared to stop when the stop arm is extended and red lights flash.
· Flashing red lights and the extended stop arm on a school bus means the bus is either picking up or letting off passengers. Cars behind the bus and approaching it on a two-lane road must come to a complete stop at least 15 feet from the bus and remain stopped until the bus’ red lights stop flashing and the stop arm is retracted.
· On roads with two or more lanes in each direction a driver must stop when approaching the school bus from behind when yellow or red lights are flashing. Drivers traveling in the opposite direction need not stop.
· On roads with two or more lanes in each direction, school bus drivers do not let passengers on or off the bus because passengers would have to cross multiple lanes of traffic.
Unlawful passing of a school bus carries a $100 fine, plus a 35 percent surcharge and court costs for a total fine of $195.
During the summer, the District collaborated with the Cedar Rapids Police Department to produce a bus safety reminder video.