School buses should be red flags for drivers – their cargo is priceless<BR>
Ignorance of the school bus laws is surely no excuse. Drivers unsure of the laws should side with caution when coming upon a stopped school bus because the situation involves unpredictable children.
Chino Valley Police Department Det. Mark Garcia said in a recent news article about school bus laws that laws require drivers on both sides of Highway 89 – northbound and southbound – to stop for a school bus stopped to load or unload students. Bus drivers will turn flashing lights on the bus and deploy a stop sign on the driver's side of the bus to alert approaching drivers.
Garcia pointed out that we cannot fully control children at all times. He gave the example of a child at a bus stop losing a paper and chasing it. The child could chase the paper into the street.
Children run every which way after leaving a bus – to a waiting parent, a group of friends or to race home, thinking of a million other things – playing with toys, eating a snack or going somewhere fun with family or friends later on in the day. Or they could even be thinking about their homework – OK, that may be stretching it. But the point is, they're sure not watching out for traffic. That's left up to the adults, the adults behind the wheel of the cars on the streets.
Besides the $185 fine for not stopping for a stopped school bus, drivers must forget the delay the stop is causing them personally and remember the contents of the bus, the priceless contents of children. Drive safely now that school is back in session.