Yellow means caution – especially around school buses

This graphic, provided by the South Carolina Department of Public Safety, illustrates the state law for passing school buses.

Those big yellow buses are rolling again in Lexington County District Three and all across South Carolina, so the morning commute and mid-afternoon travel demands an extra layer of caution and attention to safety.

Why? Because our kids are worth the time, energy and patient to do what’s right when sharing the highways with school buses.

One of the most misunderstood questions asked this time of year is, “When am I supposed to stop for a school bus?” According to the South Carolina Department of Public Safety (SCDPS), the rules are pretty simple:

  • If traveling on a two-lane road and you approach a stopped school bus — or one preparing to stop with its lights flashing and ready to extend the “STOP” sign — you are to stop, whether behind the bus or approaching it from the other lane.
  • If traveling on a multi-lane road and you approach a stopped or stopping school bus, both lanes behind the bus must stop immediately. The other two lanes approaching the bus from the opposite lanes may proceed without stopping, but the South Carolina Highway Patrol does urge motorists to slow down while going by.

Safety at the bus stop

Parents also are urged to exercise special care when preparing their children to head to the bus stop each morning. The SCDPS has issued the following guidelines for safety at the neighborhood school bus stop:

  • Get to the bus stop at least five minutes before the bus is scheduled to arrive. Running to catch the bus is dangerous and can lead to injuries.
  • When the bus approaches, stand at least five giant steps (10 feet) away from the curb, and line up away from the street.
  • Wait until the bus stops, the door opens, and the driver says that it’s okay before stepping onto the bus.
  • If you have to cross the street in front of the bus, walk on the sidewalk or along the road to a point at least five giant steps ahead of the bus before you cross. Be sure that the bus driver can see you and you can see the bus driver when crossing the street. Stop at the edge of the bus and look left-right-left before crossing.
  • Use the handrails to avoid falls. When getting off the bus, be careful that clothing with drawstrings and book bags and backpacks with straps don’t get caught in the handrails or door.
  • Never walk behind the bus.
  • Walk at least five giant steps away from the side of the bus.
  • If you drop something near the bus, tell the bus driver. Never try to pick it up, because the driver might not be able to see you.

In short, now that school is back in session, safety in and around the school bus stops, whether on foot or in a vehicle is paramount. Take time, be safe and resolve to make the 2019-2020 school year accident-free around those big, beautiful yellow buses.

From Staff Reports / Posted August 26, 2019