School bus safety priority one for county schools

Published 11:00 pm Friday, August 17, 2012

On Monday, the doors of local public schools open for the 2012-13 school year and those familiar orange buses will roll out onto the highways and back roads of Pike County.

“It’s that time again. Summer break is over and we need the public’s help as our students begin another school year,” said Mike Johnson, Pike County Schools transportation supervisor.

“Safety is our number one priority.”

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Johnson said the county’s school bus drivers met earlier in the week for training updates and safety issues as they prepare to transport children to and from school.

And, Johnson said the school system is asking motorists to do their part in keeping the roadways safe for the children.

“We are asking that motorists follow the rules of the roadways and that they use extra caution as students enter and exit the school buses,” Johnson said.

“Too often, when children are waiting for the bus, they get very close to the road. Parents are being asked to talk with their children and make them aware of the dangers of being close to the road.

Children should wait at least 10 feet off the roadway until the bus comes to a complete stop and the driver motions for them to come to the bus.”

Each year school bus drivers review the rules of the bus, such as emergency evacuation plans.

“The drivers will be sending copies of school bus rules home with the students for parents to read with their children,” Johnson said.

“By doing this, the children will better understand the importance of the rules, such as no loud talking and remaining in their seats. The bus driver does not need to be distracted from the business of driving the bus.”

Johnson said currently there are 36 routes being run by Pike County school buses.

“The buses will follow the same schedule as last year,” he said.

“We have several new stops again this year. We ask for the public to please be patient with us during these first weeks while we load and unload at new and old stops. Safety is our number one priority and we ask that it be number one for motorists, too.”