Police urge caution on road as school year starts

From staff reports

Pennsylvania state police are reminding motorists to slow down and use extra caution while driving now that the new school year is beginning.

In a news release, police reminded students to:

— Never walk close to the front or sides of the bus because the bus driver may not be able to see you.

— When crossing the street to get onto the bus, always look left, then right, then left again before crossing the street.

— If you drop something near or under the bus don’t retrieve the item until after informing the bus driver. Otherwise the bus driver may not see you.

— Wait until the bus stops, the door opens and the bus driver says it is okay to board before stepping onto the bus.”

Police cautioned drivers to slow down and pay attention to buses loading and unloading children.

“Obey all posted speed limits, especially in school zones where the penalties for speeding are enhanced,” the release said.

Police also encouraged motorists to drive carefully and buckle up.

Police reminded drivers that:

— Yellow flashing lights on the school bus mean that the bus is preparing to stop and load or unload students so drivers need to slow down and prepare to stop.

— Red flashing lights and a stop sign arm mean that the school bus has stopped and that children are getting on or off.

“You must stop your vehicle at least 10 feet before reaching the bus. You may not proceed until the flashing red signal lights are no longer activated,” the release said.

Drivers can be fined $250 for improperly meeting or overtaking a school bus.

Additionally, a conviction will result in a 60-day driver’s license suspension and assessment of 5 points on an operator’s driving record, police said.