SUFFOLK -- The start of the 2014/2015 school year is already underway for some area private schools and will be getting starting Tuesday, September 2, 2014 for Suffolk Public Schools. The return of students also means the return of school buses to our roadways. Suffolk Police and Suffolk Fire & Rescue would like to remind motorists to stay safe when traveling near school buses.
A driver must stop for stopped school buses with flashing red lights and an extended stop sign when they approach from any direction on a highway, private road or school driveway. Stop and remain stopped until all persons are clear and the bus moves again. A driver must also stop if the bus is loading or unloading passengers and the signals are not on. A driver does not have to stop if they are traveling in the opposite direction on a roadway with a median or barrier dividing the road and the bus is on the opposite side of the median or barrier. However, be prepared for unexpected actions by persons exiting the school bus.
In Virginia, if you are convicted of passing a school bus that is stopped to load or unload passengers, you will receive a six-point violation that will stay on your record for 11 years.
Drivers may also want to take into account that due to the size of most school buses that the vehicle may require a wide turning radius on streets and intersections.
School buses transport our most cherished passengers: children. Parents and caregivers are reminded to teach children proper bus etiquette and proper behavior at the bus stop. School buses are one of the safest vehicles on the road and most school bus incidents happen off the bus, not on the bus. If a student has to cross the street in front of the bus, they should walk on the sidewalk or along the side of the road to a point at least five giant steps (10 feet) ahead of the bus before they cross. Students should be sure that the bus driver can see them and they can see the bus driver. When the bus approaches, stand at least five giant steps (10 feet) away from the curb, and line up away from the street
In advance of the opening of the new Pioneer Elementary School, the Suffolk Department of Public Works Traffic Engineering Division, in cooperation with Suffolk Public Schools, fully activated the new traffic signal at Holland Road/Route 58 and Pioneer Road on Monday, August 25, 2014 at 9:30 a.m. Variable message boards are in place notifying motorists of the new signal. These message boards will be in place through September 8, 2014.
Suffolk’s Public Safety personnel would like to make sure that this school year is a safe as possible for students and motorists alike.