(BIVN) – The Hawaiʻi Police Department asked parents to avoid blocking roads at school bus stops, and reminded of other bus-related safety issues, in a public message issued this week.
“In response to feedback received at community events, the Hawai‘i Police Department is reminding motorists to drive safely when approaching school bus stops and to be considerate of other motorists,” the police department stated. “We know that these areas have a high number of young pedestrians that interact with vehicle traffic and want to ensure everyone is safe.”
At school bus stops, police ask everyone to follow these practices:
- When dropping off your child, if you plan to remain with your vehicle please park off the roadway and do not block traffic while parked near bus stops within residential subdivisions.
- When backing out of a driveway or leaving a garage, watch out for children walking or bicycling to school.
- If driving in neighborhoods with school zones, slow down and be alert. Watch out for young people who may be thinking about getting to school and who may not be thinking of getting there safely.
- Be mindful of children playing and congregating near bus stops.
- Obey the “flashing signal light system” that school bus drivers use to alert motorists of pending actions:
- Yellow flashing lights indicate that the bus is preparing to stop to load or unload children. Motorists should slow down and prepare to stop their vehicles.
- Red flashing lights and extended stop arms indicate that the bus has stopped, and that children are getting on or off. Motorists must stop their cars and wait until the red lights stop flashing, the extended stop sign is withdrawn, and the bus begins moving before they can start driving again.
Police also offered this list as a reminder about safe bus behaviors:
- Get to the bus stop at least five minutes before the bus is scheduled to arrive.
When the bus approaches, stand at least three giant steps (6 feet) away from the curb, and line up away from the street.
- Students should wait until the bus stops, the door opens, and the driver says that it’s okay before stepping onto the bus.
- If you have to cross the street in front of the bus, walk on the sidewalk or along the side of the road to a point at least five giant steps (10 feet) ahead of the bus before you cross. Be sure that the bus driver can see you, and you can see the bus driver.
- Discuss safety tips with your children and model road safety behaviors for them, including always wearing your seat belt in the car, and following all the rules of the road every time you drive, ride, or walk.
“We all have a role to play in keeping our island keiki safe. Let’s work together, drive with aloha, and slow down when approaching school zones,” police wrote.