Safety tips for students, drivers, as back to school season arrives

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - All students will be heading back to class Tuesday, which means we'll be seeing more school buses on the road.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, school buses carry approximately 24 million students each year, keeping rougly 17.3 million cars off the road, and saving the economy more than $6 billion annually.

With kids across Michigan heading back to school, there will be many for whom the trip to the bus stop is a new experience.

For drivers in those areas, it's time to start paying attention to the school zone signs again.

The Barry County Sheriff's Department released some tips to remember for back to school driving.

For drivers:

  • Remember, children are unpredictable. Be more alert that they will be out at bus stops and possibly walking in the road.
  • Take extra time to look for kids near crosswalks and intersections.
  • Reduce distractions like cellphones in school zones.
  • Be prepared to stop for school buses.
  • Remember to never pass a stopped school bus when its lights are flashing red.

For kids:

  • Stay on the sidewalks, and use crosswalks when you need to cross the street.
  • Never walk behind the bus.
  • Wait until it comes to a complete stop to board.

For parents, they recommend going with your child the first day or two to get them used to the route, and to go over the rules of walking to the bus stop.