BLUFFTON, S.C. (WTOC) - While many students have gone back to school, those in Beaufort and Jasper counties will head back next week.
Law enforcement wants parents and students to have serious conversations about school bus safety.
At H.E. McCracken Middle School, Bluffton Police and the South Carolina Highway Patrol put out some safety tips for drivers and pedestrians as back to school season starts.
Some “danger zones” on the bus to warn your kids about are directly in front and directly behind the bus, as well as directly beside it.
The South Carolina Highway Patrol encourages you to tell your kids to take three big steps away from the bus, so the driver can always see them. If you can’t see the driver in the mirror, they can’t see you.
Officers say to teach kids if they ever drop something in front of or under the bus, to never stop to pick it up. Instead, wait until the bus comes to a complete stop before moving toward the bus at stops.
It’s not just the kids riding buses who need to be diligent.
“Distracted driving, of course, can cause collisions. It can cause people to get hurt. It can cause people to get killed. You know, last year, we had some crashes where school buses were rear-ended. It’s bright and yellow for a reason, folks, and has flashing lights on it for a reason," said Lance Corporal Matt Southern, SCHP. "It’s to make sure that you see it. So, limit those distractions as much as possible. When it comes to teen drivers, we may have some teens that are driving to school. Parents, talk to your teens about texting and driving, distracted driving, because, again, they could get into a crash, hurt themselves, or even get killed.”
Tom Krasne, a senior crossing guard with the Bluffton Police Department, says you should also watch for speed zones.
“We have posted speeds. I would ask you to look at those signs when you’re coming into the school district, and make sure that you are using that speed, or a little bit less.”
The fine for illegally passing a school bus in the Palmetto State will run you over $1,000.