From Harford County Public Schools:
Ensuring a safe environment when transporting students to and from school is a top priority of Harford County Public Schools (HCPS). As the start of the new school year quickly approaches, it is important to take a moment to review safety rules and procedures concerning school buses.
Motorists are reminded of the Maryland Motor Vehicle Law which requires the driver of a vehicle to come to a complete stop for a school bus loading or unloading students with the red warning lights activated. When the red lights are engaged and the stop arm is employed, it means students are getting on or off school buses and motorists are to stop.
Motorists are also advised that buses operate with an 8 light warning system. School bus drivers flash their yellow amber lights at least 100 feet in advance as they approach a stop and do not activate the red lights until they are fully stopped. The message is clear ? “Prepare to stop and do not run the warning lights.”
Here are a few additional safety tips for all motorists:
• Tip #1: When a school bus is preparing to stop, the driver first activates the yellow flashing lights. Slow down and prepare to stop.
• Tip #2: Once stopped, remain stopped until the bus deactivates its red warning signal.
• Tip #3: Be vigilant and prepared to react to unexpected movements of the students waiting for or exiting the bus. Students do not always follow pedestrian safety rules.
• Tip #4: Pay close attention for children who may be crossing the street, walking or waiting close to the street.
• Tip #5: Please pay close attention in school zones and near bus stops.
Student safety inside the bus is also an important issue. Parents of students in the Harford County public school system should talk with their children and make sure that they understand all of their school bus rules prior to the first day of school.
Here are a few safety tips for all students riding the bus:
• Tip #1: Children should arrive at their bus stop at least five minutes before the scheduled arrival time of the bus.
• Tip #2: Students should not distract the driver’s eyes from the road.
• Tip #3: Students should never extend any body part out of the bus window.
• Tip #4: When crossing the street in front of the bus, students should always cross in view of the driver. A good rule of thumb is to cross at least ten feet in front of the bus.
• Tip #5: Only school-related items can be transported on the bus.
Bus routes are set up to fully utilize all buses, provide safe and efficient service, and maintain a reasonable ride time for students. To check a bus route for the 2012-13 school year, click here.