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Connecticut State Police Patch STATE OF CONNECTICUT
Department of Public Safety
1111 Country Club Road
Middletown, Connecticut 06457
 
Contact: 
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 27, 2008

DRIVERS, PARENTS & CHILDREN URGED TO PREPARE
FOR BACK TO SCHOOL SAFETY,
CONNECTICUT STATE POLICE NOTE

As Connecticut children head back to school this week and next, the Connecticut State Police urge all parents and guardians to discuss safety issues with their children.  Parents should remind children about traffic, pedestrian and personal safety-related topics before putting their children on the school bus.

State Police also caution Connecticut drivers to be aware of “Back to School” bus, pedestrian and bicycle traffic. Drivers are urged to use extra caution as they travel on Connecticut’s roadways and be alert to children who may be hurrying to and from school.

Under state law, it is mandatory that drivers stop for school buses that are flashing red warning lights, whether they are approaching or following the school bus. The yellow flashing lights are a warning to motorists that the bus is stopping to pick up and/or discharge passengers. Drivers should anticipate that the red flashing lights will come on shortly after seeing the yellow flashing lights as the bus comes to a stop. The red flashing lights on a school bus indicate that the bus is stopped and students are either getting on or off the bus. Again it is mandatory that drivers stop for school buses. This is true on all undivided highways.  Failure to obey this law puts our children at great risk and carries a penalty for motorists, with fines starting at $460 for a first offense.

More reminders for motorists:

  • Remember to slow down for School Zones; those zones were inactive during the summer months but the lower speed limits will be in effect again now that school is back in session
  • As children and parents are (re)learning their bus stops and/or way to school, expect to see more children out and about in the early morning hours and expect some confusion.

More often then not, children who are injured in accidents involving school buses receive their injuries as they are entering or exiting the bus. Over the next week, State Troopers will be out in full force in cities and towns patrolling school zones and bus routes.  Both ResidentState Troopers and Patrol Troopers will ensure that motorists are obeying traffic laws so that the safety of schoolchildren throughout our state is not compromised.

The Connecticut State Police encourage parents to discuss with their children the following school bus safety tips:

  •       Children should have a safe place to wait for the bus, away from traffic and the street. Avoid roughhousing at bus stops.
  •       Children should stay away from the bus until it comes to a complete stop and the driver opens the door and signals the students to enter.
  •       When being dropped off, children should exit the bus and walk ahead of it before crossing in front.  The driver can see children best when they are farther away from the bus.
  •       Students should always use handrails when entering and exiting the bus.
  •       Children should be aware of traffic in the roadways around them, before they approach a bus.  Drivers are required to stop for school buses; however, not all drivers obey the law. Children should always look both ways!
  •       If parents or children have questions regarding the safety or the behavior of other riders during their trip to and from school, they should bring their concerns to their parents, teachers or school officials immediately.

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