Important bus safety reminders for kids and parents - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

Important bus safety reminders for kids and parents

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LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) -

When the bell rings issuing the end of another school day, 1.5 Million kids climb aboard school buses across the state.

More than 40,000 busses transport students ranging from elementary school age all the way up to high school seniors.

Bright flashing lights and extended stop signs indicate the bus is stopping to unload kids and warning drivers traveling in both directions to come to a complete stop.

While most drivers heed the stop signs, others do not.

The Department of Transportation says there were 840 accidents involving buses in 2012.

Drivers who fail to yield when buses stop could face a fine as much as $1,250.

Highway Patrol troopers also issued tickets to 449 people who failed to recognize school buses stopping.

Corporal John Gonzalez with the Department of Public Safety said that stopping around an unloading bus is more than just a precaution, it's the law.

"You have to stop," Gonzalez said, "You cannot go around a school bus, you cannot do anything other than stop."

Gonzalez said that even if you're approaching a bus that isn't using visual aids, such as an extended stop sign and flashing lights, the safest option is to wait for the bus to continue driving.

While it's important for drivers to know the rules, it's important for kids to be aware of the dangers of oncoming traffic.

"For little ones it's hard because they're excited to be home. Ready to see mom and dad so they will dart out in front of traffic," Gonzalez said.

But teaching kids to look left and right before stepping out from behind a big yellow bus could make all the difference.

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