Fall brings fewer and fewer hours of daylight and safety officials say that increases the potential for school bus accidents. Captain Pat Hoye of the Iowa State Patrol says National School Bus Safety week this week seeks to raise awareness. He says they’re reminding motorists to pay attention to safe driving rules and low-light conditions, especially in school zones.
While he says Iowa hasn’t had any major problems, he says nationwide there are plenty of bus accidents at this time of year. He says one of the things the National Association for Pupil Transportation says is that half of the school bus fatalities are due to low-light conditions. Hoye says students and drivers are given training and it’s up to motorist to do their part. He says the state patrol provides school bus evacuation training for drivers and students and also on the best way to be safe in general.
Hoye says always be ready if you see the yellow lights flashing on a bus. He says on a two-lane road the yellow lights give you the cue to slow down and be prepared to stop. He says when the red lights come on and the stop arm goes out, you should stop until the lights go off and the arm closes. Hoye says you should be on alert for children walking and riding bikes throughout the school year, not just this week.