PennDOT, PSP, Local Law Enforcement Celebrate “Love the Bus” at Local Elementary Schools

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT), Pennsylvania State Police and Ferguson Township Police celebrated “Love the Bus,” a program highlighting the importance of school bus drivers in education, at local elementary schools this month.

“The 40,000 licensed bus drivers in Pennsylvania are a huge part of teaching our kids because they get them to school safely every day,” said Trooper Bruce Morris, Community Service Officer for Troop C. “This is our way of thanking them and making their jobs easier by teaching everyone about school bus safety.”

During the celebrations, which were held this month at Clearfield Elementary School and Ferguson Township Elementary School in State College, students received valentines to give their bus drivers to say thank you. Officers also provided tips for staying safe while on or near a bus:

• Get to the school bus stop five minutes early so you won’t have to run across the road to catch the bus.
• When waiting for the bus, stay away from traffic and line up at least five giant steps away from the curb.
• Never run after the school bus if it has already left the bus stop.
• Never push when getting on or off the school bus.
• Always walk at least 10 feet in front of the bus when crossing so that the school bus driver can see you.
• When the school bus is moving, always stay in your seat. Never put your head, arms or hands out the window.
• Never play with the emergency exits. Backpacks, band instruments, or sports equipment may not block the aisle or emergency exits. If there is an emergency, listen to the driver and follow instructions.
• Never cross the street behind the school bus.

PennDOT reminds motorists the School Bus Stopping Law requires they stop at least 10 feet away from buses with their red lights flashing and stop arm extended. Motorists meeting or overtaking a stopped bus or approaching an intersection where a bus is stopped must stop until the red lights have stopped flashing, the stop arm is withdrawn, and all children have reached safety. If a physical barrier such as a grassy median, guide rail or concrete median separates oncoming traffic from the bus, motorists in the opposing lanes may proceed without stopping.