Charleston– Schools around the country are observing National School Bus Safety Week during October 16-20, 2017. This year’s theme is #StopOnRed! The theme of National School Bus Safety Week originated from the poster contest the year prior. The 2016 winning poster was drawn by Branden Pagurayan, an 8th student at Kapolei Middle School, Kapolei, HI.
Held during the third full week of October each year, National School Bus Safety Week is an active and evolving public education program and an excellent way for parents, students, teachers, motorists, school bus operators, school administrators, and other interested parties to join forces and address the importance of school bus safety.
To help support school bus safety efforts, the West Virginia Governor’s Highway Safety Program (GHSP) encourages motorists to observe the following rules when approaching school buses on roadways:
- On all non-controlled access highways, streets, parking lots, private roads or driveways, traffic in both directions must stop before reaching a school bus that has its red lights flashing which is receiving or discharging students. You may not proceed until the bus resumes motion, or signaled by the school bus driver to proceed or the visual signals are no longer actuated.
- Interstate highways are controlled access, meaning that traffic coming toward a school bus that is stopped on the other side of the median does not have to stop.
- You must also stop for a stopped school bus which is receiving or discharging students on school property or private property.
The penalty for passing a stopped school bus is a minimum of 30 days driver’s license suspension and a minimum fine of $150 for the first offense. Subsequent offenses have increased penalties. If the identity of the driver of a vehicle that passes a stopped school bus cannot be ascertained, the owner or lessee of the vehicle in violation is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, subject to fines.
“From winding country roads to the busy city streets of Huntington, Charleston, Beckley or Morgantown, school buses carry our most precious cargo: our children,” said Bob Tipton, Director of the GHSP. “We must all be vigilant to obey traffic laws relating to school buses on our highways. Drivers should always be cautious when they approach a school bus in traffic.”
The National School Bus Safety Week public education program is sponsored by the National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation Services, National School Transportation Association, National Association for Pupil Transportation, and the Pupil Transportation Safety Institute. For more information on National School Bus Safety Week, visit www.napt.org.
More information on traffic safety can be found at www.dmv.wv.gov/highwaysafety.