Troopers preach road safety to students, drivers as kids head back to school in Grand Strand, Pee Dee

Published: Aug. 2, 2022 at 10:11 AM EDT
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HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WMBF) - Summer is almost over in Horry County which means whether kids are walking, biking or taking the bus to school, it’s important to keep them safe.

SPECIAL SECTION | Back-To-School 2022

The South Carolina Department of Public Safety offers these safety rules for students as they get on and off the school bus:

  • Make sure you’re standing at least 10 feet away from the curb when the bus arrives
  • Only approach the bus when it makes a complete stop, and the driver says it’s okay to board
  • The loading and unloading area of a bus is called the “Danger Zone”
  • Bus drivers cannot see you if you stand in the “Danger Zone” which extends 10 feet on all sides of the bus
  • Alert the driver if you drop something near the bus before trying to pick it up
  • Never walk behind the bus

Trooper Nick Pye, Community Relations Officer for the South Carolina Highway Patrol, said it’s not only important for kids to follow these rules before getting on or off the bus, but also to make sure your kids listen while they are on the bus.

“You know we need them to act properly on the school bus and not distract that driver, but also follow directions of the driver. You know there are certain situations to where they have to wait for a hand motion before they can come across the road or enter a school bus,” said Pye.

Pye added that if your children are walking to school, make sure they only cross the road at designated crosswalks.

Lastly, if your child is riding a bike to school, they need to wear a helmet, bright colors and have a light on their bike.

For drivers, when it comes to navigating the roads during the school year, troopers said it all comes down to planning ahead, patience and simply following the law:

  • You must stop for school buses unless you want to be fined between $500 and $1,000
  • On any two-lane road, cars driving in the same or opposite direction as a school bus must stop when their warning lights come on and the stop sign swings out
  • On any multi-lane road or highway, only the cars driving in the same direction as the school bus must stop

The highway patrol said drivers can expect to see more troopers in school zone areas to make sure they are not speeding.

Pye said drivers need to also practice patience because the roads will be busier.

“You’re gonna notice areas you haven’t encountered a whole lot of traffic at around schools. It’s gonna be busy, and it’s especially gonna be busy those first few weeks. So, just know that you know if it’s taking you 15 minutes to get somewhere now, with school starting back up it may take you 25 or 30 minutes,” said Pye.

Pye also said, whatever you do, make sure you do not rush on your way to school or work because this is when troopers see a lot of crashes happen, so buckle up and stay safe.

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