August is typically the time of year when families get children ready for school with new supplies and clothes. It is also a good time to get children ready with safety information, according to State Senator Hugh T. Farley (R, C, I - Schenectady).
Students should be reminded that, when boarding a bus, to stand outside the "danger zone" -- which is about 15 feet from the bus -- until it is fully stopped and the door is opened so they can board it. Children should never bend down near or under the bus where the driver cannot see them, Senator Farley said.
Senator Farley said bus safety reminders should also be given to motorists as well.
"Our bus drivers are doing a wonderful job of transporting children safely to and from school," Senator Farley said, "but accidents do happen. Especially when other motorists do not pay attention to the law and fail to stop for a school bus when it is receiving or discharging passengers."
According to the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles Driver's Manual, when a motorist approaches a stopped school bus which is flashing its red lights, the driver must stop at least 20 feet away from the school bus. Once stopped, motorists must not proceed again until the red lights stop flashing. Drivers who fail to stop when a school bus has its red lights on face costly penalties and can even land in jail.
Those walking to school should also practice good safety, Senator Farley said. Stay on the sidewalks and don't run between parked cars and buses. When crossing the street look carefully to the left, right, and to the left again.
Senator Farley has a brochure on school bus safety and it can be obtained by calling the Senator's office at 455-2181 or emailing him at Farley@nysenate.gov. The Governor's Traffic Safety Committee also has a website that contains safety tips on these topics as well as information on distracted driving and teen driving tips. Their web address is http://www.safeny.ny.gov/