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The Lake News Online
  • Share the road with school buses

  • Beginning this week, school buses will once again be sharing the road with motorists as thousands of students throughout the lake area are headed back to classes. School days bring more traffic and activity to weekdays at the lake.
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  • Beginning this week, school buses will once again be sharing the road with motorists as thousands of students throughout the lake area are headed back to classes. School days bring more traffic and activity to weekdays at the lake.
    With the school year approaching, local law enforcement are urging residents to use caution when on the road at peak school hours.
    "Now that August is here, children are returning to school in force and that means we all have a responsibility to be a little more watchful on the roadways. This is particularly important during the morning and afternoon commute. Children will be out walking, riding bicycles, and awaiting buses," Captain Kelly Luttrell with the Camden County Sheriff's Department said.
    Luttrell reminds residents to slow down, be patient, watch for children when they are loading and unloading from buses and remember where bus stops are on their normal route. When in town, keep in mind that some children still walk and ride bikes to school. Be sure to watch for cross walks.
    It's the motorist responsible to pay attention to avoid accidents, Luttrell added.
    For parents of children riding buses, Luttrell said to make sure the children know to pay attention to their bus driver. It is the bus driver's responsibility to advise the students when to cross a road. For parents of small children, it is wise to wait with them at a bus stop.
    Drivers need to be even more attentive near school zones.
    Traffic patterns will change as school buses and parents taking their children to school join other motorists on the road and affect the morning and afternoon commute. Whatever route you drive, expect this additional traffic and prepare by allowing extra time to reach your destination.
    According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol, afternoons can be especially dangerous since most traffic crashes involving young drivers (under the age of 21) in 2012 occurred between 3 p.m. and 4 p.m., when school typically lets out.
    Drivers need to be aware of the increased traffic during this time—not just in areas around school, but all around town. Many of these drivers are inexperienced. It is important to encourage those young drivers to remember driving is a full-time job. Using a cell phone, texting, or adjusting the radio can be the distraction that leads to a traffic crash. Texting is against the law for anyone under the age of 22.
    Missouri law also states that on a two-lane road, if a school bus is stopped and displaying warning signals while loading or unloading children, drivers must stop when meeting and following the bus.
    However, it is only necessary to stop on a four-lane highway when following the bus. Drivers should pay extra attention when they see a stopped school bus.Children may not be aware of traffic and dart unexpectedly into the roadway, their children about riding a bus or walking to school in a safe manner.

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