ORLANDO, Fla. - School will soon kick back into session and AAA – the Auto Club Group – wants to remind drivers of how to safely drive by a school bus.
They said that motorists must stop when approaching a school bus that is stopped with its red lights flashing and ‘Stop’ arms extended.
For example, that means:
- When traveling in a ‘two-lane’ roadway, vehicles traveling in both directions must stop. Drivers must remain stopped until the road is clear of children and the school bus stop arm is withdrawn.
- When traveling in a 'multi-lane paved across' roadway, vehicles traveling in both directions must stop. Drivers must remain stopped until the road is clear of children and the school bus stop arm is withdrawn.
However, there is an exception to the rule. That is:
- When traveling on a ‘divided’ roadway, vehicles approaching the oncoming school bus do not need to stop if there is a raised barrier like a concrete divided or at least five feet of unpaved space separating the lanes of traffic. With that said, motorists should still slow down and watch for students.
In addition, when in a school zone, lower your speed and increase your awareness. It is illegal in Florida to use your handheld mobile device while driving through an active school zone.
Children waiting for the bus are encouraged by AAA to:
- Stay five steps away from the curb.
- Always wait until the bus comes to a complete stop and the bus driver signals for you to board. Be alert and remove headphones so you can hear oncoming traffic.
- Face forward after finding a seat on the bus.
- Exit the bus when it stops and look left-right-left for cars before crossing a street.
The start of the school year is just about one week away for most Central Florida counties. Many students are expected to return for in-person learning for the first time in more than a year.
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