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DMV News Releases

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Pedestrian Safety Tips Encouraged for Students
Motorists Reminded of Laws Surrounding School Buses

RICHMOND - This time of year, children may need to be reminded about safety lessons for walking or riding the bus to school.

"School children need to wait in a safe place at the bus stop, and enter and exit the bus environment safely," said Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) Commissioner Richard D. Holcomb, the Governor''s Highway Safety Representative. "I encourage all parents to teach and reinforce to children bus safety rules so they become habits."

Statistics in Virginia show that school buses are one of the safest vehicles on the road, and that most school bus incidents happen off the bus, not on the bus. In 2011 in Virginia, 75 pedestrians were killed and 1,712 were injured. Five of those injured were getting on or off school buses.

With children everywhere waiting for, boarding and exiting school buses this time of year, it is a good time to reinforce Virginia''s back-to-school rules of the road to drivers. Passing a school bus is prohibited when it is stopped to load or unload passengers, unless a physical barrier or unpaved median separates the traffic going in either direction.

Here are some additional back-to school safety reminders for drivers:

  • Pedestrians always have the right-of-way. When encountering a pedestrian, motorists need to slow down and prepare to stop.
  • Yellow flashing lights on a school bus mean the bus is preparing to stop and load or unload children. Motorists need to slow down and prepare to stop.
  • Red flashing lights and an extended stop arm mean the school bus is stopped and children are boarding or exiting the bus. Motorists must come to a complete stop a safe distance from the bus and wait until the bus begins moving before they start driving again.
  • Drivers are required to travel 25 mph in a school zone when indicated by a sign or signal.

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