EDUCATION + SCHOOLS

With kids back to school, watch for crosswalk and bus safety

Aug 16, 2021, 11:19 AM | Updated: 1:13 pm
school crosswalk bus safety...
Students arrived to a red carpet welcome on the first day of school at Altara Elementary School on Monday, Aug. 16, 2021. Photo: Mary Richards, KSL NewsRadio

SANDY, Utah — Back to school means pencils, books, flashing lights in school zones, increased crosswalk activity and an important reminder for drivers to practice safety and be careful around every bus. 

Back to school, back to bus safety

On the first day at Altara Elementary School, drivers appeared to obey the rules, slowing down for the school bus with its lights flashing and stop sign out. That made Canyons School District transportation director Jeremy Wardle happy.

“Start keeping your eye open for school buses. Any time there’s a bus in the area, there’s going to be kids in the area. Slow down, and take your time,” he said.

Tens of thousands of students are riding, walking or driving to school this week around the Wasatch Front. Jordan, Canyons, Granite, and Murray School Districts are all back starting Monday. Alpine District students return on Tuesday, then Provo City and Nebo on Wednesday and Park City on Thursday.

“It’s going to be a little bit of a change for everybody, especially because we are going back five days instead of four,” said Wardle. “Drivers should expect to see kids sometimes out in the dark in the early morning. They’ll see a lot more traffic on the roads as parents drive their kids.”

What to watch for, how to react

Wardle reminded drivers to pay attention and be careful. You should never drive around a stopped school bus when the arm is out. That means students are loading or unloading.

“If the red lights are flashing, just stop, wait and watch for kids. Wait for the drivers to turn off the lights and it’s safe to proceed,” said Wardle.

Several school districts have had bus driver shortages all summer. Wardle says they were able to make some new hires recently, and have office staff filling routes until the new drivers are trained.

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With kids back to school, watch for crosswalk and bus safety