Officials urge drivers to stay safe with school buses on the road

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MILTON, VT – With summer coming to an end and the school year starting, drivers can expect to see a lot of school buses back on the road.  Bus companies and police officers say it’s a good time to remind everyone to be extra vigilant when behind the wheel.

“We want everyone to get there safely and get home safely and those people who are bringing their kids to school or going to work. So it is going to be a complete community effort to keep everyone safe,” said Chief Patrick Foley.

Student Safety Officer of Mountain Transit, Chris Ives said some drivers don’t stop for school buses, even when their lights are flashing.

“Our biggest thing right now is red light runners. When you see a yellow school bus with flashing lights …stop,” said Ives.

As long as you are paying attention, officials believe its easy knowing when to stop.

“Our drivers are trained to put their stop lights on about 200 feet before they stop and that gives drivers and oncoming traffic a signal that they are going to have to stop soon,” said Ives.

Most incidents occur when drivers are in a rush.

“People pretty much have tunnel vision going to and from work they want to get to their employment on time and that’s the only thing on their mind,” said Chief Foley.

“That two minutes you’re rushing could leave you in a lifetime of regret,” said Ives.

Mountain transit has over 100 buses on the roads each day for different school districts and drivers go through an intense training program.

“It’s about 42 hours. We do 18 hours behind the wheel and 24 hours of classroom training. Most of the time it’s a lot longer because we feel the more training the better,” said Ives.

School districts also hope drivers are aware of buses, so their students get to school safely. Superintendent of Essex /Westford School District said, “I just hope for a safe back to school. We are very excited to have buses on the road again. So, I hope everyone is safe and we can have a great school year!”

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