Originally Published: August 2, 2018 9:53 p.m.
Prescott Unified School District is back in session. Humbolt Unified and Chino Valley Unified will follow suit on Monday, Aug. 6.
That means big yellow school buses on the roads everywhere in the tri-city area beginning early in the morning and into late afternoon — actually, school buses will be on the roads all across the state.
School buses equal children — from the littlest kindergartners on up to high schoolers who do not yet drive themselves.
So motorists need to beware.
Arizona’s laws related to school bus safety make violations a criminal offense that come with fines starting at $250 and can be as high as $750 for a second violation in three years. The whole notion behind these laws is to keep children safe when getting on and off a school bus.
Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction Diane Douglas offered a public welcome back to students across the state, with the advisory that a new school year can quickly be tainted by a disregard for school buses that are on the highways, or traveling neighborhood roads. Drivers need to exercise caution, and time their travel so they are not impeded by the slower traveling vehicles.
Beyond school buses, state drivers are also advised to simply be aware of children who may be walking or riding bikes back and forth to school each day. Parents should inform children to be aware of their surroundings, but drivers need to stay alert because children can forget to look both ways or walk strictly in the crosswalks. Most important to all is to prevent an avoidable tragedy.
“Let’s remind ourselves to be vigilant in our driving with our children back in school,” Douglas advised in a news release. “Please be extra alert and abide by the speed limit in the school zones.”