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Motorists need to practice caution with school buses

Two incidents in the South Williamsport Area School District offer lessons that motorists throughout the county and region should learn.

In late October, a car rear-ended a bus as it was stopped along Route 15. In early November, a car struck the side of a bus near South Williamsport Area High School.

District Superintendent Mark Stamm explained that the bus drivers were not at fault in either incident, and detailed how student safety is checked and parents notified after such incidents and how bus drivers are trained before such crashes.

Of course we must be thankful no one was injured in these crashes, but more importantly, we must encourage motorists to exercise better caution when school buses are on the road.

Under state law, motorists must stop at least 10 feet away from buses that have their red lights and attached stop signs flashing and extended. They must remain stopped until the lights stop flashing the stop sign is pulled back along the bus and all children have reached a safe distance from the roadway.

Motorists must stop when they are behind or meeting a bus and when approaching an intersection where a bus is stopped.

While the two minor crashes happened in one of the eight school districts in our county, the reminder about how to prioritize safety when encountering buses on our roads applies to every corner of the state. So whether you’re driving in Salladasburg or Unityville or on the road while visiting Levittown, Waynesburg, Erie or anywhere in between — watch for school buses and keep Pennsylvania’s children safe.

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