School bus safety the focus of state campaign

LITTLE ROCK -- The Arkansas Department of Education and Arkansas Association of Pupil Transportation launched the fifth annual "Flashing Red. Kids Ahead." school bus safety campaign this month to promote school bus safety.

The three-week campaign will conclude Aug. 25. More than 7,000 school buses will transport approximately 350,000 Arkansas students to and from school and school-related activities during the 2017-18 school year.

Motorists are reminded it is illegal to pass a stopped school bus when its red lights are flashing, as students are present. On April 26, 2016, school bus drivers in 100 Arkansas school districts reported 706 instances of motorists illegally passing a school bus. Act 2128 of 2005, also known as Isaac's Law, increased the fines, penalties and punishment for anyone found guilty of illegally passing a stopped school bus.

"As a former school bus driver and district superintendent, I know firsthand the importance of school bus safety," said Jerry Owens, the senior transportation manager at the Arkansas Division of Public School Academic Facilities and Transportation.

"School bus safety isn't just the responsibility of bus drivers. Every motorist plays a critical role in ensuring all students arrive to and from school safely. Remember, 'Flashing Red. Kids Ahead.'"

The campaign provides resources, including bus safety videos, a copy of Isaac's Law, safety tips for parents and fliers, as well as media outreach resources for districts to use. The resources are available on the ADE website.

The ADE encourages students and schools to get involved by sharing videos and pictures of why school bus safety is important. Videos and pictures can be posted to social media using the hashtag #2017FlashingRed. Links to videos and pictures posted on other sites can be emailed to ade.communications@arkansas.gov for possible sharing on ADE sites.

School on 08/13/2017

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