Distracted Driving Around Schools and Buses is Recipe for Disaster

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"We want people to focus on their driving, be patient, and slow down in school zones", he says.

That number is slightly worse than the number NBC 5 Investigates reported only two days ago, but DCS insists they are rapidly filling open positions and that they have other staff members who are certified to drive and could step in if needed. Thousands of youngsters across the region will be up bright and early each morning waiting to catch their school bus. Martinsville's Superintendent, Dr. Michele Moore, says all three districts have had problems with the service.

"Please follow the posted speed limits", Bledsoe said adding during the first day of school on Tuesday, he flashed his lights a few times as a warning.

Wait for OK to cross - Wait until the bus driver gives the OK sign or thumbs up to cross the street or get on the bus. The results are frightening to say the least. School buses turn on flashing lights and deploy a stop sign when they halt to let students board or get off. The four hour in-service training day is an annual requirement for all school bus drivers. Never pass a bus from behind, or from either direction if you are on an undivided road, if it is stopped to load or unload children. If possible, drop them off at a place where they do not have to cross the street.

The common rule among school bus drivers is simple but worth overstating - respect the bus.

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Applicants must also pass a drug test and physical, criminal history checks by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Pennsylvania State Police, and a child abuse history check.

Law enforcement takes school bus stop arm and school patrol crossing guard flag violations very seriously.

The law, according to the ISP: Motorists approaching from any direction a school bus, which is stopped and whose flashing red lights are activated and its stop arm extended, are required to stop, even on multiple lane highways.

"It is evident that motorists are not aware all the lanes must stop for a school bus stop arm if there isn't a physical barrier for a median", said Puckett.

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