Student safety is everybody’s business
Posted on 10/22/2019
National School Bus Safety Week   Image: School bus with the guard outDuring National School Bus Safety Week, motorists are reminded that they are required to stop for school buses that are displaying flashing red lights and a stop arm. One of the most common bus driver complaints is motorists who fail to stop for a school bus that is loading or unloading students.

Police are serious about enforcing the law, especially around schools, school crossings, and buses traveling on area roads. Such enforcement, along with motorists who exercise constant courtesy and caution when near school buses, helps ensure that Prince William County Public School (PWCS) students and drivers stay safe while going to or from school.

PWCS school buses have an eight-light school bus warning system. The lights are used to warn traffic about what the school bus is doing. When the bus is preparing to load or unload students, the yellow traffic warning lights will flash, signaling caution to other motorists that the bus is preparing to stop. Once the bus has come to a complete stop, red traffic warning lights will flash, the stop arm will be extended from the side of the bus, and a crossing gate will extend for added safety and visibility.

“Our bus drivers are trained professionals and focused on safety,” said Shirley Posey, director of transportation. “They do a great job, but they need the cooperation of other motorists to keep our students safe.”

As well as focusing on safely loading and unloading students at the bus stop, PWCS bus safety includes mechanical maintenance checks every 45 days, bus evacuation drills, in-service training for all drivers twice a year, and much more.