It’s back-to-school season, so now is a good time to remind fleet drivers to take extra precautions around school buses and while driving through school zones.

Here are some tips from the National Safety Council:

  • Don’t block the crosswalk when stopped at a red light or while waiting to make a turn, forcing pedestrians to go around you. This could put them in the path of moving traffic.
  • In a school zone when flashers are blinking, stop and yield to pedestrians crossing the crosswalk or intersection.
  • Always stop for a school patrol officer or crossing guard holding up a stop sign.Take extra care to look out for children in school zones, near playgrounds and parks, and in all residential areas.
  • Don’t honk or rev your engine to scare a pedestrian, even if you have the right of way.
  • Never pass a vehicle stopped for pedestrians.
  • Always use extreme caution to avoid striking pedestrians wherever they may be, no matter who has the right of way.
  • If you’re driving behind a school bus, allow a greater following distance than if you were driving behind a car. It will give you more time to stop once the yellow lights start flashing.
  • It’s illegal in all 50 states to pass a school bus that’s stopped to load or unload children. Never pass a bus from behind – or from either direction if you’re on an undivided road – if it’s stopped to load or unload children.
  • If the yellow or red lights are flashing and the stop arm is extended, traffic must stop.The area 10 feet around a school bus is the most dangerous for children. Stop far enough back to allow them space to safely enter and exit the bus.
  • Be alert. Children often are unpredictable, and they tend to ignore hazards and take risks.

school-bus