Remember School Bus Safety

B.U.S. Awareness, a public awareness campaign reminds students, parents and motorists about the importance of school bus safety.

School bus safety is a critical issue for Arkansas schools and families. During a special three week public awareness campaign, educators and community leaders across the state will actively work to remind students, parents and the community about the importance of school bus safety and related issues.

B.U.S. (Be aware. U stay alert. So kids don’t get hurt) Awareness is the theme for the campaign, which began August 11 and concludes August 29. Schools and safety advocates throughout the Natural State will be using the three weeks as an opportunity to remind Arkansas motorists to obey all traffic laws whenever they are near a school bus. Drivers will also be reminded that it is illegal to pass a stopped school bus whenever its red lights are flashing and students are getting on or off a bus.

"This effort reminds motorists they play an important role in keeping our students safe," said Jeff Stubblefield, Charleston Schools Superintendent. "With schools beginning a new year, we want to ask all motorists to exercise care and patience whenever they are near or around a school bus."

The fines, penalties and punishment for anyone found guilty of illegally passing a stopped school bus were increased dramatically by Arkansas Code Annotated 27-51-1004, also known as Isaac’s Law.

The legislation passed by the Arkansas General Assembly in 2005

was named for Isaac Brian, an elementary school student in the Bryant School District who was struck and killed when a driver illegally passed his school bus while students were unloading.

"This campaign also serves as an excellent time to teach and reiterate to students and parents simple measures they can take while going to and from the bus stop, getting on and off the bus,and riding in the bus," Mr. Stubblefield said. "It also gives us a chance to thank and

honor the professional school bus drivers who devote themselves to transporting our most precious cargo."

In Arkansas, a fleet of nearly 6,000 school buses transport more than a quarter of a million students to and from school and school -related activities each school day. In the Charleston district approximately 250 students ride school buses each school day.

Many students also walk to and from school each day so motorists are encouraged to slow down and pay extra attention to students crossing the roads.