The Montana Highway Patrol has issued some reminders about traffic laws when it comes to school buses with school back in session.
- Prepare to slow down when you see the amber-yellow flashing lights.
- Stop 30 feet from a stopped school bus when it is flashing red lights.
- When a school bus is stopped at a four-way intersection, vehicles can’t turn left, turn right, or pass the school bus.
- When the stop arm is out on a school bus and there is a raised median, all traffic traveling in the same direction as the bus must stop.
- When the stop arm is out on a school bus on a non-divided highway or two-lane road, traffic traveling all directions must stop within 30 feet of the bus.
Missoula-based Beach Transportation offers the following suggestions for drivers, parents and kids.
Safety Tips for Motorists
- Amber lights let motorists know that the bus is about to stop.
- Stop at least 10 feet away from a school bus that has its red lights flashing and stop arm extended.
- Vehicles traveling in the same direction as the bus are required to stop when the red lights are flashing. Vehicles moving in the opposite direction are also required to stop.
- If you are behind a school bus daily and it’s causing you to be late please leave a few minutes earlier rather than trying to pass the bus.
Tips for Parents
- Walk your children to and from the bus stop.
- Stay with your children to make sure they are at the bus stop on time, wait back from the curb and avoid rough play.
- Teach your children to ask the driver for help if they drop something near the bus.
- If you have safety concerns about the bus stop location, please contact the school.
- If your child does not arrive at school or at home as expected, please call your school or the dispatch office at Beach Transportation, 549-6121, Ext. 2, for assistance.
Tips for Kids
- Be at the bus stop early, about five minutes before your bus is scheduled to leave.
- Wait for the bus in a safe place - away from the road.
- Take your seat right away; stay seated at all times.
- Keep the bus clean.
- Keep all of your body inside the bus.
- Listen to the driver; follow directions.
- Leave the bus carefully using the handrails.
- Take 10 giant steps away from the bus before crossing in front of it.
- Look both ways before crossing the road; wait for the driver's signal.
- If you drop or forget something, stay away from the bus.
Parents and Kids
Please report any suspicious activity, mountain lion sightings and anything else that makes you feel uncomfortable to school administrators and to the police, if necessary.
Watch the full MTN News back-to-school special below.