As school year starts, follow rules of the road

Next week, the first of the region’s school children return to class when Belpre and Wood County schools open their doors for a new school year.

For many kids, their school day begins and ends with a ride on a school bus. Unfortunately, not all motorists obey the rules of the road when it comes to school buses.

The Ohio Highway Patrol reports that from 2014 to 2016, 4,160 drivers were convicted for failing to stop for a school bus loading or unloading students. Under Ohio law motorists are required to stop at least 10 feet in front –or behind — a school bus when flashing lights and the bus’ mechanical “arm” is initiated. Drivers cannot begin to move again until the school bus moves.

These rules are a matter of life and death. The patrol emphasizes that safety on the road is a “shared” responsibility. We would certainly agree. We urge motorists to follow the patrol’s advice and leave extra time in your morning and afternoon commutes as the school year gets under way.

Our school buses carry precious cargo and as drivers, we must always put the safety of ourselves and others first. This is particularly true during the school year.