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Drive Safely This Fall to Protect Missouri’s Students: Part II

Yesterday on the MOParent Blog, we offered tips on driving safely in and near Missouri’s schools. Today’s post continues on the theme of safe driving around school children, with an emphasis on driving safely near school buses and in rural areas.

School Bus Passing
Did you know that it’s illegal in Missouri to pass a school bus? Missouri’s school bus passing laws are serious business, and bus drivers will report you to police for passing.
· Never pass a school bus whose lights are flashing or whose stop arm is extended,
· Never pass a school bus on the right (where children load and unload).

School bus passing laws are designed to keep children safe on their way to and from school, so no matter how frustrating it is to be stuck behind a school bus making frequent stops, resist the urge to pass.

“When approaching a stopped school bus from either direction, the driver of the approaching vehicle is required to stop before reaching the bus if the school bus has indicated its intention to receive or discharge passengers by use of the signaling devices Drivers should also remember that school buses will activate their warning lights and come to a full stop before crossing railroad tracks. NEVER pass a parked school bus on the right, where children enter or exit.”
-The Safe Motorist

Bus Safety in Rural Areas

According to the Missouri Rural Health Biennial Report 2010-2011, approximately 40% of Missouri’s population lives in rural areas.

While students in more densely populated areas often have a large group to wait with at the bus stop, rural children often wait in smaller groups, with a sibling, or alone for their morning bus ride to school. With fewer kids at a single stop, it becomes even more important for drivers to pay extra attention to children standing near rural roads.

Trash cans, trees, fog, and winter’s late-rising sun can all decrease visibility of students waiting for school buses. Avoid distracted driving, and be attentive on your morning commute to help protect Missouri’s school bus riders.

MOParent is dedicated to safe, healthy public school experiences for Missouri’s families. For more helpful information from MOParent, sign up for MOParent’s email newsletters at the top of this page.

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