The Red Wing Police Department is urging motorists to drive attentively and be ready for school buses, especially for children exiting school buses.
Last year in Minnesota, there were 553 bus crashes that resulted in seven deaths (none of which were student bus occupants) and 211 injuries (of which 65 were student bus occupants). In Minnesota, school buses make at least 10,000 school bus trips daily. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, school buses are the safest mode of transportation for children — children are eight times safer riding in a bus to school than any other vehicles.
Red Wing Police Department reminds motorists to anticipate children, especially in a school bus “danger zone” — the area around a bus where most injuries and deaths occur. Officials also ask parents to discuss and demonstrate pedestrian safety with their children and reinforce safe crossing after exiting a bus.
“School buses are very safe, but once a child exits the bus, we want them to know how important it is to be aware of their surroundings,” says Chief Pohlman. “That same message goes for motorists—if you come up on a school bus, you need to be paying attention and take extreme caution for exiting children.”
In Minnesota, motorists must stop for red flashing lights and when stop arms are extended — both when driving behind a bus and when coming toward a bus on undivided roads.
Red Wing Police Department offers these tips for pedestrians, motorists, and parents to review with their school-age children:
School bus safety education is a component of the state’s Toward Zero Death (TZD) initiative. A primary vision of the TZD program is to create a safe driving culture in Minnesota in which motorists support a goal of zero road fatalities by practicing and promoting safe and smart driving behavior. TZD focuses on the application of four strategic areas to reduce crashes — education, enforcement, engineering and emergency trauma response.