Students are returning to in-person learning, which means drivers should be on the lookout for school bus crossings, bus boardings, and children walking and biking to school.
Drivers should be prepared to stop when approaching crosswalks; pedestrians and cyclists should be aware of their surroundings and make sure oncoming traffic is stopped before proceeding across a crosswalk. Drivers should always reduce their speed in and around school zones in anticipation of school crossing patrols and pedestrians. In an effort to increase pedestrian safety in Arden Hills, a crossing signal has been installed at the Lake Valentine Road crosswalk near Mounds View High School and is now operational.
More school buses on the road require drivers to remember school bus safety. If your vehicle approaches a bus with flashing red lights and/or showing a red “STOP” sign, it means children are getting on or off the bus and you must stop; you cannot pass. A sad statistic from Minnesota’s Office of Traffic Safety is that more children are killed outside of a school bus than they are as bus occupants. Motorists must anticipate children in the school bus “danger zone”—the area around a bus where most injuries and deaths occur.
School bus safety for drivers
- In Minnesota, motorists must stop at least 20 feet from a school bus that is displaying red flashing lights or a stop arm when approaching from the rear and from the opposite direction on undivided roads.
- Motorists should slow down, pay attention, and anticipate school children and buses, especially in neighborhoods and school zones.
- The best way to be aware of your surroundings (always) is to put the distractions away.
School bus safety for students
- Wait until the bus reaches a complete stop before attempting to approach the bus. School buses are large, heavy vehicles that cannot stop quickly. Be extra cautious around them, and stay outside of the school bus “danger zone” that extends 10 feet around the bus.
- When getting off a bus, look to be sure no cars are passing on the shoulder.
- Wait for the bus driver to signal that it’s safe to cross.
- When crossing the street to get on the bus or to go home, make eye contact with motorists before proceeding.
Let’s keep Arden Hills safe for our kids returning to school!
Minnesota Office of Traffic Safety: School Bus Safety