With the start of the new school year, school buses are back on the road. James City County and Williamsburg police are teaming up with WJCC Schools to share important safety reminders for drivers who share the streets with the big yellow school buses each day.
“Drivers may not be thinking about school zones or bus stops after a summer break,” said John Lambusta, WJCC Schools Director of Transportation. “We appreciate that our local police officers are willing to help spread the word about bus safety and partner with us to keep our streets and our students safe.”
In a video posted on the WJCC Schools website, police officers remind drivers about the rules of the road.
“The safety of our children is one of our primary concerns, which is why we are using various means to educate the public. Motorists are encouraged to eliminate distractions while driving – especially around school buses, school bus stops and in school zones,” explained Chief Brad Rinehimer with the James City County Police Department.
There were more than 1,000 bus stop arm violations last year. As a reminder, it is only legal to pass a stopped bus when you are approaching the bus from the opposite direction on a divided highway.
“There is a very real danger in passing a stopped bus,” Lambusta cautioned. “Children who are getting off the bus may be crossing the street, and a motorist may not see them until it’s too late.”
Drivers also need to be aware of school zones and obey the flashing lights and reduced speed limits in the morning and afternoon. School zones are in effect from 7 – 9:45 a.m. in the morning and 2 – 4:15 p.m. in the afternoon. Times may vary by neighborhood, based on school hours.
“There is nothing more important than the safety of the young people in our community,” said Chief Sean Dunn with the Williamsburg Police Department. “Each and every driver on the road has a responsibility to help keep the children of Williamsburg and James City County safe. Obeying these simple traffic laws will go a long way in doing that.”
To see more back-to-school driver safety tips from Williamsburg and James City County police, visit the school division website atwww.wjccschools.org.