FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
|CONTACT:||Buel C. Young||MVA Organization Relations|
MVA Urges Safety as Schools Open
Back to School Safety Tips
Glen Burnie, MD (August 29, 2008) - As summer fades and the fall school year begins, the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) reminds motorists that state law requires vehicles to stop for school buses loading and unloading children. The only exception to the rule is the school bus that is across a divided highway with a median.
Motorists are reminded to pay close attention while in neighborhoods and designated school zones, especially in the mornings and afternoons when schools open and close. The MVA also encourages students to obey school bus safety rules while waiting at the bus stop and getting on and off the school bus.
Most school transportation-related accidents occur while children are getting on or off a school bus. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 1,059 children were killed in school transportation accidents nationwide between 1996 and 2006 (the most recent years for which statistics were available).
Here are some safety tips to remember throughout the school year:
- Yellow flashing lights on a school bus mean the bus is preparing to stop and load or unload children. Motorists need to slow down and prepare to stop.
- Red flashing lights and an extended stop arm mean the bus has stopped and children are boarding or exiting the bus. Motorists must come to a complete stop a safe distance from the bus and wait until the bus begins moving before they may resume driving.
For school bus riders:
- Line up facing the school bus door - not along the side of the school bus.
- Don't play in the street while waiting for the school bus.
- Carry your belongings in a backpack or book bag.
- Never reach under a school bus to get anything that has rolled or fallen underneath.
- After getting off the school bus, move immediately onto the sidewalk, out of traffic.
- Wait for a signal from the bus driver before you cross the street. Walk at least 10 steps away from the front of the bus so that the bus driver can see you.
- Never cross the street behind the school bus.