Back to School: Watch Out for Buses!

CB106386As many of you know, the majority of students in the city schools ride buses every day.  At Mount Daniel, the kindergarteners spend their first week reviewing bus rules and can probably recite them by heart by the end of the week. Many years ago, my daughter was at Mount Daniel when snipers terrorized the metropolitan area.  Concerned about student safety, police officers followed every school bus as they wound around the city picking up or discharging children.  My daughter, oblivious to current events, assured me the police were keeping an eye out for those drivers who didn’t follow the rules.  And wouldn’t you know it — one morning a minivan attempted to pass the stopped school bus.  Tasked with a more serious job than writing a ticket, the police cruiser simply turned on its blue lights and the van screeched to a halt.  My daughter’s hypothesis had been proven!  But since most readers finished kindergarten many years ago, and thankfully police officers have no reason to tail all the school buses this Fall, here is a friendly reminder from the Falls Church Police Department and Falls Church City Public Schools:

  • When a school bus is STOPPED for the purpose of LOADING or UNLOADING children, ALL motorists must stop!
  • If you are on an undivided street or highway and approach a school bus with flashing signals or flashing signals with an extended stop sign, you must stop and remain stopped until all children are clear of the roadway and the bus moves again.
  • And ALL motorists at an intersection with a stopped school bus must stop and remain stopped until all children are clear of the road and the bus is put in motion again.
  • On divided highways or streets (those with a physical barrier or unpaved median area), motorists traveling in the same direction as the school bus must stop.  Those traveling in the opposite direction do not have to stop.

So keep your eyes open and be safe — you don’t want a kindergartener catching you breaking the rules!

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By Annette Hennessey
September 8, 2009 

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