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Awareness promoted during school bus safety week

Photo courtesy of Johnson Transportation A bus decorated in celebration of National School Bus Safety Week brings attention to the Pennsylvania School Bus Stopping Law and bus safety in general.

Red lights mean stop.

It’s National School Bus Safety Week and Warren County School District and state officials hope motorists will pay attention.

On Wednesday, the district and state and local law enforcement took part in Operation Safe Stop.

“This event is to bring public awareness to the motoring public of the danger of running the red lights on a school bus,” PennDOT said in a news release. “Illegally passing school buses is potentially fatal, as we have witnessed in locations across Northwest Pennsylvania.”

Pennsylvania’s School Bus Stopping Law requires motorists to stop at least 10 feet away from school buses that have their red lights flashing and stop arm extended,” according to PennDOT. “

Motorists must stop when they are behind the bus, meeting the bus, or approaching an intersection where a bus is stopped.”

“Motorists following or traveling alongside a school bus must also stop until the red lights have stopped flashing, the stop arm is withdrawn, and all children have reached safety,” according to the release. “Motorists in the opposing lanes may only proceed without stopping if physical barriers such as grassy medians, guide rails, or concrete median barriers separate oncoming traffic from the bus.”

District Transportation Manager Mike Kiehl said he receives reports weekly of motorists illegally passing school buses. The most frequently cited areas are Jackson Run Road, Fourth Avenue, and Route 6.

As part of School Bus Safety Week, the district, in partnership with D+R Transportation and Johnson Transportation, is holding a poster contest at Youngsville Elementary and Tidioute Community Charter Schools, Kiehl said. The theme is: “What do you think of when you hear about school bus safety?”

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