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Watch out for kids-School is back in session!

School is back in session and with that, comes delays and added roadway precautions. No one wants to get behind a bus in the morning but, if drivers use common sense and follow the rules, we will all be safe.

During the school year, children are placed near one of the most dangerous areas, the roadway. Drivers should remember that young children have little, if no experience around traffic and tend to act before thinking. This article is to remind all drivers to be alert, careful, and proactive when it comes to student safety.

In Virginia, drivers must come to a complete stop when they approach a school bus that is loading or unloading passengers. If you approach a bus that has activated its flashing lights, you cannot pass it, even if the bus driver has not extended the stop sign and even if the bus has not yet come to a complete stop. Drivers must remain stopped until all passengers are clear of the roadway and the bus is back in motion. However, if you are approaching from the opposite direction and are traveling on a divided highway with a median, you do not have to stop. Drivers who fail to follow these basic rules are guilty of reckless driving, which is a class 1 misdemeanor. This means you face a possible fine up to $2,500.00 and the possibility of a jail sentence.

From a common sense prospective, get off your cell phone! Be attentive to not only school buses, but also children waiting on the side of the road. If you tend to be late for work, make plans to leave a bit earlier. Buses run on the same schedule every day. Leaving your home 5-10 minutes early, can prevent you from getting stuck behind a school bus.

Happy school year!

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