As the Bossier kids head back to class tomorrow after a short Fall Break, Bossier Parish Sheriff Julian Whittington reminds drivers there are rules to follow when it comes to school buses.

"I can't stress enough the importance of keeping our children safe while they are waiting at bus stops, being picked up and then being delivered to their schools and homes," said Sheriff Whittington in a BSO news release. "Obeying the laws regarding school buses is not only the right thing to do, it also ensures every child makes it safely to school or home each and every day."

Sgt. Jeff Pleasants is the BSO's traffic unit supervisor. He's worked numerous school zones to ensure safety in and around school buses and school campuses. He said the old adage "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure" is spot-on when it comes to school bus safety.

"Bottom line is we want to make sure drivers are in compliance with the laws regarding school buses," said Sgt. Pleasants.

Louisiana Revised Statute 32:80 states all vehicles must stop no less than 30 feet from a school bus that is loading or unloading children, regardless if you're headed toward the bus or traveling behind it. Drivers must remain stopped until the bus begins to move or the stop arms and lights are no longer active.

Pleasants said bus drivers are authorized to notify law enforcement if they see a motorist violating the law...and the driver can be ticketed for that.

Keep in mind, too, that bus drivers have to stop at every railroad crossing, and we have many in Bossier Parish.

"Also, drivers need to remember to stop for a stopped school bus when they are traveling on four-lane or five-lane roadways which are not separated by any barriers," said Pleasants. "You can start driving only when the bus moves again or the visual warning signals are no longer activated.

You are not, however, required to stop for a school bus if you're traveling the opposite direction, and the roadway is separated by a ditch, grassy median, elevated concrete barrier or any other obstacle.

Sheriff Whittington said taking a few precautions and a little more time while school buses are rolling can ensure everyone on the road remains safe.


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