State Police Ask Students and Motorists to Use Caution as New School Year Begins

Captain Bernard J. Petrovsky, Commanding Officer, Pennsylvania State Police, Troop C Punxsutawney, is reminding students, parents and motorists that the opening of school brings a need to exercise extreme caution on and around our roadways.

The following statement was released by Captain Petrovsky:

Our daily routine changes when the school buses start traveling.

Parents should remind their children of the following rules that keep them safe when walking to school or to the bus stop:

• Use the sidewalk if possible; if there is no sidewalk, walk well off the road against traffic.
• When crossing the road to get on or off the bus, always look left, right and left again to be sure there is no traffic approaching.
• Use intersections or road crossings where there are crossing guards if possible.
• Don’t talk to or take a ride with a stranger.
• Walk with a friend if possible.
• Set a safety spot to wait for the bus well off the road and stay at that spot until the bus comes to a complete stop.

Students should follow these rules when riding the bus:

• Stay clear of the danger zone, an invisible area about eight feet wide all around the bus. This is an area where the bus driver can’t see you from inside the bus. If you drop something inside the danger zone ask the driver for help.
• Any time the bus is moving you must be seated.
• Don’t throw anything when riding the bus.
• Keep your hands, feet and words to yourself. Don’t pick on or bully other riders.
• Don’t put anything outside the window, including papers, candy wrappers, arms, hands and heads.
• Know where the emergency exits are.

Motorists should consider the following facts when traveling during school time:

• Flashing yellow lights on the school bus alert you that the bus is about to stop. Slow down and prepare to stop.
• Flashing red lights indicate students will be approaching, loading or exiting the school bus. When the red lights are activated, motorists shall stop at least 10 feet from the front or rear of the bus. You must remain stopped until the red lights are deactivated.
• Motorists in violation for improperly meeting or overtaking a school bus can face
a fine of $250, along with a 60-day suspension of operating privileges.
• Motorists should obey all posted speed limits; especially those in school zones.

Penalties are enhanced for violations inside a school zone. Avoiding a fine or license suspension is imperative, but let’s not lose sight of the real important aspect of safe driving. PRIORTY ONE should be keeping our children safe.

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