School is in Session


By: Blake Westerman CSP, ASP, COSS

As children make their way back to school, safety should be a priority for everyone, especially motorists. The beginning of the school year is when children are at an increased risk of transportation-related injuries from school bus, pedestrian, bicycle and motor vehicle crashes. It is important for motorists to strictly focus on driving and avoid distractions behind the wheel. Refrain from using handheld devices (e.g. cell phones) while driving. Most states have banned the use of such devices while driving through school zones, so using them can result in significantly higher traffic fines. Please be sure to read, share and follow the below Safety Tips for Motorists from the National Safety Council (NSC) as we enter the back-to-school season. Everyone has a responsibility to maintain safety on the roadways and around school zones.

  • All 50 states have a law making it illegal to pass a school bus that is stopped to load or unload children.
  • School buses use yellow flashing lights to alert motorists that they are preparing to stop to load or unload children. Red flashing lights and an extended stop sign arm signals to motorists that the bus is stopped, and children are getting on or off the bus.
  • All 50 states require that traffic in both directions stop on undivided roadways when students are entering or exiting a school bus.
  • While state laws vary on what is required on a divided roadway, in all cases, traffic behind the school bus (traveling in the same direction) must stop.
  • The area of 10 feet around a school bus is where children are in the most danger of being hit. Stop your car far enough from the bus to allow children the necessary space to safely enter and exit the bus.
  • Be alert. Children are unpredictable. Children walking to or from their bus are usually very comfortable with their surroundings. This makes them more likely to take risks, ignore hazards or fail to look both ways when crossing the street.
  • Never pass a school bus on the right. It is illegal and could have tragic consequences.

Blake Westerman CSP, ASP, COSS

Blake Westerman currently serves as a HSE Specialist Production with Danos. He has over seven years of experience in this role within the petrochemical industry. He is a graduate of Southeastern Louisiana University and Nicholls State University. He also holds Certified Safety Professional (CSP) and Associate Safety Professional (ASP) credentials from the Board of Certified Safety Professionals and is a Certified Occupational Safety Specialist (COSS).


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