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“Flashing Red, Kids Ahead” Warns Motorists

By Ken McLemore/Hope Public Schools, 08/10/21 9:32 PM

‘Flashing red, Kids ahead’ warns motorists

HOPE – When school buses begin to transport Hope Public Schools students to and from campuses Aug. 16 parents and other motorists should remember “Flashing red, Kids ahead” for children going back to school.

School buses are equipped with automatic safety arms which deploy each time a bus comes to a complete stop; and, red “Stop” signs with flashing signal lights embedded. Each time a bus slows to come to a stop, yellow “caution” lights on the bus will flash to warn motorists. Traffic from each direction should begin to slow to a complete stop once the caution lights activate.

A school bus will typically come to a full stop within 300 feet after the caution light activates.

“Everyone has a responsibility to ensure students arrive to and from school safely,” the Arkansas Department of Education notes in announcing its eighth annual “Flashing Red, Kids Ahead” program. “This includes being mindful of student safety when approaching school buses.”

It is illegal to pass a stopped school bus whenever its red lights are flashing, according to the ADE.

“The fines, penalties and punishment for anyone found guilty of illegally passing a stopped school bus were increased dramatically by Act 2128 of 2005, also known as Isaac’s Law,” the ADE notes.

The Hope Public Schools not only urge parents and other motorists to be mindful of school bus traffic, but of children in the vicinity of a stopped school bus. HPS bus drivers are directed to have children remain inside the bus until all front and rear approaching traffic has stopped. Motorists are also reminded they may not resume travel until the bus retracts both its safety arm and flashing “Stop” signal.

Drivers are instructed to remain stopped until all children have either boarded or exited the bus and cleared traffic lanes.

Parents may obtain more information about school bus safety at www.flashingredkidsahead.org online.

Questions regarding HPS student transportation should be directed to HPS Director of Facilities and Transportation Maurice Henry’s office at 722-2700, extension 35.

Bus rider protocols remain in place

HOPE – Hope Public Schools students will return to class Aug. 16 with COVID-19 protocols in place including a requirement to wear a face mask on school buses.

“We will still implement some of the same as last year by disinfecting the buses after each route, supplying hand sanitizer and masks on the buses; and, overall, providing a safe and healthy environment for both our students and drivers,” HPS Transportation/Facilities Director Maurice Henry said.

Henry asked parents of HPS students for their support.

“We’d like to urge parents to help us with encouraging their children to wear masks to keep them healthy,” he said. “We will provide the social distancing when possible.”

The Hope Public Schools Board of Education has authorized HPS Superintendent Dr. Jonathan Crossley to implement COVID-19 safety measures such as the use of face masks on all HPS campuses, in school facilities and on school buses.

Riding the bus rules include:

1.     At the bus stop: Social distancing; each rider encouraged to wear a face mask.

2.     At the bus door: Use hand sanitizer provided before boarding.

3.     Go to your seat:

>Take the open seat in rear of bus farthest from the front door.

>The Bus Driver will eventually assign seats for the year.

>The seating chart for your bus will be followed all year.

>New riders will be assigned seats as “practical and feasible.”

      4. While riding the bus:

            >If using a face mask, wear it the entire time.

            >Keep your hands to yourself.

            >Practice social distancing by staying in your assigned seat.

       5. Arrive at school:

            >Bus unloads one seat at a time from the front.

            >Stay in your assigned seat until your turn to get off the bus.

            >If using a face mask wear it while getting off the bus.

            >Go from the bus to your assigned building entrance.

        6. Returning home: Follow rules 1-5 to go home.