CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – Now that school’s back in session, drivers are being reminded to be on the lookout for school buses, and adhere to traffic laws to keep children safe.
Recently in Hadley, a driver was caught on camera passing a school bus picking up students with the red stop lights activated, that driver was subsequently identified, and fined $360.
In all 50 states, it is illegal for drivers to pass a school bus that is stopped with its red lights flashing. The fine for illegally passing a school bus is $200 at minimum. Repeat offenders may have their licenses suspended.
22news spoke with an out-of-state teacher, Jodi Waugh, visiting western Massachusetts, who stressed the importance of ensuring children make it safely to and from school. “Especially in the rural areas where there’s two lanes and people are going fast, yeah I do, it’s a concern everywhere I would think,” says Waugh. “I think it’s important to stay safe for all the kids, I’m a teacher, let’s be safe.”
Parents are encouraged to remind their children to wait at least 10 feet back from the road, and make eye contact with the bus driver before crossing.
The majority of school bus-related injuries are to pedestrians who are boarding/exiting a bus, though riding a school bus is one of the safest modes of transportation.