The Berks-Mont News (http://www.berksmontnews.com)

Motorists Urged to Watch for Students, School Buses as School Year Begins


Friday, August 23, 2013

With a new school year beginning in Pennsylvania, motoristsareurged to watch for students and school buses to prevent potentially tragiccrashes and avoid strong penalties under the state’s school-bus stoppinglaw.
“As students return to the classroom, drivers who haven’t had to drivearoundbuses or students for months must be alert for bus stops and school zones,” PennDOT Secretary Barry Schoch said. “The consequences of just a moment ofdistraction could prove to be tragic.”
Under the state’s school bus stopping law, motorists approaching a schoolbuswith its red lights flashing and stop arm extended are required to stop inalldirections at least 10 feet from the bus. The only exception to the law iswhena school bus is stopped on the opposite side of a highway clearly separatedbya divider, such as concrete barriers or grass medians. Even in thissituation,motorists should remain watchful of students trying to cross the road tocatchthe bus.
If convicted of violating Pennsylvania’s school bus stopping law, driversfacea $250 fine, five points on their driving record and a 60-day license
suspension.
Students are also exposed to traffic while waiting for buses or walking tothebus stop or school. Motorists are reminded to be cautious and alert when
approaching a school bus stop and to stop for pedestrians in crosswalks.
In addition to watching for school buses, motorists should be alert inschoolzones, which become hubs of vehicle and pedestrian traffic. Motorists arerequired to slow down to the posted speed limit of 15 mph in school zones.
Violators face a fine and three points on their driving record.
For more information on Pennsylvania’s school-bus stopping law, school-bussafety tips and programs, visit www.JustDrivePa.com and select the “SchoolBusSafety” information center.
Article submitted by Penndot.