Law Enforcement Officials Urge Motorists To Drive Safely Near School Buses

(Beaver Dam) With students across the region going back to the classrooms, law enforcement is focused on school safety. Beaver Dam Police Lieutenant Erik Smedema says that motorists need to pay attention. He says they will be patrolling around the schools in the morning and with kids walking and biking to school it is important to pay attention. Lieutenant Matt Riel says drivers must slow down to 15 miles-per-hour in school zones no matter if school is taking place or after school.

Despite fewer in-person classes during the pandemic, there were still 342 school bus-related crashes in Wisconsin in 2020. In the past 10 years, 33 people have died in crashes involving school buses. Officials with the Dodge County Highway Safety Commission say with more kids heading to school, distracted driving is a concern. They ask that motorists do not talk and text on their phones and add that turning off your device is one of the smartest things you can do. Drivers are also reminded that their vehicles should stop no closer than 20-feet when approaching a school bus that is stopped with its red lights flashing or stop arm extended. When driving near schools, the public are asked to take extra time to look for kids at intersections and sidewalks; enter and exit driveways and alleys slowly. Kids, meanwhile, are reminded that they should cross the street with an adult or crossing guard until they are at least 10-years-old; cross the street at corners using traffic signals and crosswalks; never run into the streets or cross in between parked cars; and finally make sure to walk in front of the school bus where the driver can see them.