School Bus Safety Week is observed around the nation to encourage motorists and parents to do all they can to keep students safe.
Today's buses are built with safety in mind and are maintained to higher standards than ever before. The most dangerous times for students are during boarding, when they are getting on and off the bus.
"Outside the bus is a different story because then you have to deal with other cars and the public," said Pat Kribbs, transportation director for Lamar County School District.
That is why it is critical to know the rules of the road involving school buses. To review, yellow flashing lights mean that a bus is preparing to stop. Motorists should slow down as they approach the bus. Red flashing lights indicate that the bus is stopped and drivers must stop and wait until the bus is in motion again. Watch for children entering or exiting the bus and walking across the street.
Parents of elementary-aged students are encouraged to accompany them to the bus stop and wait until the bus arrives. Remember to stand at least six feet from the bus and do not approach it until it has completely stopped. If crossing in front of the bus is necessary, walk at least ten feet in front of it.
"It's a team effort between the driver and the parents," said Kribbs.
National School Bus Safety Week is the perfect time to thank a bus driver for all that they do each day.
"We have some great professional drivers here," said Donald Chase, Oak Grove Lead Driver. "They're reliable, they get the job done. They're a great bunch of people to work with."