AGAWAM, Mass. (WWLP) – Back-to-school season is underway, and that means it’s time to take a little extra care on the roads, and make sure your students are being careful when waiting for the bus.

Riding on the school bus is actually one of the safest modes of transportation; children are far more at risk for injury as they are getting on or off the bus, and their safety relies on good behavior, as well as attentive driving from nearby cars.

It is illegal in all 50 states to pass a school bus while the stop-arm is extended, and the red lights are flashing. You should start to slow down once the yellow lights engage, which means the bus is slowing down ahead of a stop. That means there are kids nearby- possibly out of sight- preparing to cross the street to get to the bus.

Do not attempt to pass the bus- it is illegal, and the cost of injuring or killing a child is far greater than that of being late to work.

For parents, remind your students to wait at least 10 feet back from the road, and 10 feet from the bus. Ten feet is about five big steps.

Children should wait until the bus has come to a complete stop and always cross in front of the school bus- never behind. Children should also make eye contact with the driver before crossing the street, and keep that 10 feet of distance.

Local News

Duncan MacLean is a reporter who has been a part of the 22News team since 2019. Follow Duncan on X @DMacLeanWWLP and view his bio to see more of his work.