New campaign urges drivers to be safe as kids get on, off school buses

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) - A new campaign is launching across New York State to help ensure kids are safe while catching the school bus.

It’s called the School’s Open – Drive Carefully Campaign, and it’s designed to specifically make sure kids across the state stay out of harm’s way.

Valerie has seen it with her own eyes.

“They just keep going, like, they just don’t care at all,” she said.

Cars speed by as her two young kids get off the bus.

“It’s dangerous because my kids get off, and they actually have to cross the street,” she said.

Every school year, it’s a new worry. Not just for Valerie but for parents across the Capital Region.

“People are more distracted on the road it seems, and I do worry about people passing buses or speeding or not paying attention that they’re stopping,” parent Jackie Weaver said.

“Somebody speeding by as your kids are going off to school – it’s so dangerous,” parent Matt Clarke said.

Now, AAA is teaming up with New York State Police to kick off the new safe driving campaign aimed at getting drivers to pay attention and slow down when school buses are around.

Motor vehicle related crashes are the leading cause of death for children ages 5 to 14.

“It’s heartbreaking,” Valerie said. “You would never want to see your kids get hit or anything like that.”

Ayman Slaoui, 9, has had some close calls himself.

“They just speed by the buses,” he said. “When you see a car go right in front of you, you’re like, ‘Oh, my god; I almost got hit.’”

The campaign, which will be heavily enforced by police, asks motorists to slow down, come to complete stops and eliminate distractions.

It’s something Valerie is thankful for.

“More people need to be just looking at the road, looking at their surroundings,” she said. “We can prevent all of that from happening, especially with little kids.”

The campaign began Wednesday and will run through October 13.

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