We repeat, you must stop for a school bus
This editorial ran in the Halifax Chronicle Herald:
What part of stop don’t drivers get? With another school year underway, we are once again reminding drivers to watch out for students heading to and from school. And since in too many cases a giant yellow bus with red lights flashing and a stop sign activated isn’t enough to get all motorists to stop, please heed these words: Red means stop.
When you see a school bus with its red lights activated, it is imperative that you stop, since the alternative can be tragic. To put it bluntly, it could lead to injury or death.
Over 80,000 students in Nova Scotia travel by school bus every day. Last year, provincewide, there were over 1,500 school bus red light violations.
Year after year, school boards amass a growing list of cases where motorists do not stop when a school bus’s red lights and stop sign are activated. These violations happen every month of the school year. Despite awareness campaigns and media stories, the number of violations has gone up each of the past few school years.
It leaves the school board members concerned, frustrated, bewildered, angry and scared. We should all share in these emotions. Motorists must be mindful of students who travel to and from school on school buses, just as you keep an eye out for those walking to school.
As much as bus drivers, parents and teachers remind students to be careful when getting on or off a school bus, sometimes students can be distracted. They’re kids. But most of the time, students take for granted that the safety equipment on buses will keep them safe.
And why wouldn’t they? This is among the earliest lessons most people learn in life: red means stop.