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Ask a trooper: Pay attention around school buses

Q: Could you please give some advice on school bus safety? A: Parents should discuss and demonstrate pedestrian safety with their children and reinforce safe crossing after exiting a bus: * When getting off a bus, look to be sure no cars are pass...

Q: Could you please give some advice on school bus safety?

A: Parents should discuss and demonstrate pedestrian safety with their children and reinforce safe crossing after exiting a bus:

* When getting off a bus, look to be sure no cars are passing on the shoulder (side of the road).

* Before crossing the street, wait until the driver's face can be seen.

* Wait for the driver to signal that it's safe to cross.

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* Look left-right-left when coming to the edge of the bus to make sure traffic is stopped. Keep watching traffic when crossing.

School bus safety tips for motorists:

* Motorists must stop at least 20 feet from a school bus that is displaying red flashing lights and/or its stop arm is extended when approaching from the rear and from the opposite direction on undivided roads.

* Red flashing lights on buses indicates students are either entering or exiting the bus.

* Motorists are not required to stop for a bus if the bus is on the opposite side of a separated roadway (median, etc.) - but they should remain alert for children.

* Altering a route or schedule to avoid a bus is one way motorists can help improve safety. In doing so, motorists won't find themselves behind a bus and as a result, potentially putting children at risk.

* Watch for school crossing patrols and pedestrians. Reduce speeds in and around school zones.

* Watch and stop for pedestrians - the law applies to all street corners, for both marked and unmarked crosswalks (all street corners) - every corner is a crosswalk.

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According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, school buses are the safest mode of transportation for children - children are eight times safer riding in a bus to school than any other vehicles. The most important thing to remember whether you are a motorist or a pedestrian: Pay attention!

Sgt. Neil Dickenson is a public information officer for the Minnesota State Patrol. Send your questions to trooper@duluthnews.com . You may remain anonymous if you wish.

Related Topics: POLICETRANSPORTATION
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