Harrison County Board of Education members discuss school bus safety

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CLARKSBURG, W.Va.- October is National School Bus Safety Month and Harrison County officials are doing their part to keep students and drivers prepared.

Assistant Superintendent James Lopez said that bus drivers are spending time during the month working on lessons with students on how to be safe at all times, focusing on specific times accidents are more likely to happen.

“One of the danger zones is getting on and off of the school bus when you load and unload students, so it’s very important that they follow the safety steps,” said Lopez.

Students are advised to remain ten feet away from the school bus until it has come to a complete stop and the driver has given them permission to board.

Once on the bus, students are taught not to distract the driver by remaining quiet and calm throughout the trip.

“Probably the most important thing for school bus safety is having the students seated, staying in their seats, and that way if there is a problem or the driver has to stop or anything, a student is not going to get hurt by being out of their seat,” said bus supervisor Jim Linger.

Linger and his colleagues also watch bus video footage to make sure all passengers are behaving properly and can track each bus.

Other drivers are also advised to remember the laws and not pass stopped school buses.

“That is one of the ongoing concerns that we have, is for motorists to be vigilant that the school buses are on the road. That it’s very important that they stop when the warning lights come on,” said Lopez.

Lopez said that one of the most hazardous issues is drivers not stopping when the stop arm extends and that everyone should be mindful of when school bus lights turn yellow to signal an upcoming stop.

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