The Missouri State Highway Patrol reminds drivers that school is in session. Every week day across the state, our young people are traveling to and from school. In 2012, three persons were killed and 353 people were injured in 886 school bus crashes in Missouri. Missouri schoolchildren are placed at risk needlessly when drivers do not stop for a school bus stop arm. It’s important that drivers remember and observe state law pertaining to school buses and vehicle operation.
Missouri law states that on a two-lane road, if a school bus is stopped and displaying warning signals while loading or unloading children, drivers must stop when meeting and following the bus. It is only necessary to stop on a four-lane highway when following the bus. However, drivers must obey the stop sign, stop arm, and flashing lights of a school bus.
The school year is far from over. Thousands of Missouri’s children are going to school every day. It is critical that drivers be alert. It is imperative that parents talk to their children about being alert—whether they walk, bike, drive, or ride—when traveling to school each day. Students walking to school should use sidewalks, be aware of their surroundings at all times, and observe marked crosswalks. All drivers need to pay attention. Using a cell phone, texting, or adjusting the radio are distractions and can lead to a traffic crash. Drivers must pay attention and observe all traffic laws. Even before a school bus turns on its red or yellow flashing lights, drivers should be vigilant—the school bus may be stopping or turning at some point.
It’s up to all of us to ensure that our children arrive at school safely. Please, watch for school buses and schoolchildren. Do your part.