The Arkansas Department of Education has started its annual school bus safety awareness campaign and it continues through Friday, Aug. 29.
The “B.U.S. (Be aware. U stay alert. So kids don’t get hurt) Awareness” campaign is sponsored by the Arkansas Department of Education in conjunction with the Arkansas Association of Pupil Transportation and concerned parents, educators and citizens across the state, according to a news release.
Education officials want to remind motorists to obey all traffic laws whenever they are near a school bus and that it is illegal to pass a stopped school bus whenever its red lights are flashing and students are getting on or off the bus, the release states.
“Most of our public school students will be returning to the classroom Aug. 18, which means the yellow school buses will be returning to our streets and highways,” ADE Commissioner Tony Wood stated in the release. “We want to remind motorists to be especially attentive whenever they are near a school bus. We must all work together to keep Arkansas students safe.”
More than 6,000 school buses transport more than a quarter-million Arkansas students each school day.
The fines, penalties and punishment for anyone found guilty of illegally passing a stopped school bus were dramatically increased by Arkansas Act 2128 of 2005, also known as Isaac’s Law, the release states. The legislation was named for Isaac Brian, an elementary student in the Bryant School District who was struck and killed when a driver illegally passed his school bus while students were unloading.
The new school year began Monday.