Hop on the School Bus

By Max Resnik

August 23, 2011 Updated Aug 23, 2011 at 6:13 PM EDT

HUNTINGTON, Ind. (Indiana’s NewsCenter) – The 2011-2012 school year is in full swing. Today, Indiana’s NewsCenter went for a ride-along with Sgt. Ron Galaviz with the Indiana State Police to remind motorists of the rules of the road.

Galaviz says the first rule should always be to keep a safe distance behind a school bus. He says drivers must be anticipatory and expect that the bus will stop. In the event that a driver is traveling along a bus route, Galaviz says drivers should stay behind the bus during a stop as opposed to next to it to ensure the driver can see children boarding the bus.

Another common error made by motorists is when to stop on four-lane highways. Galaviz says that if there is no grass median or concrete barrier on a highway, drivers traveling in the opposite direction must stop when the stop-arm attached to the bus is extended.

“If none of those medians or barriers exists, you're expected to stop each and every time that stop-arm is extended.”

In the case that a motorist is traveling on a four-lane highway where there is a median or barrier, drivers can continue with caution.

Galaviz says failing to recognize a stop could cost motorists time and money.

“Disregarding a school bus stop-arm is a Class B Misdemeanor punishable by up to 180 days in jail and a $1,000 fine."

Galaviz also has tips for parents of students who have to cross the street to board the bus.

"Keep an eye on your bus driver because the bus driver obviously sits up higher. They've got a better vantage point of what's going on around the bus and also make sure that they're making eye contact with your child and giving them the signal that it's safe to cross."

Lastly, have a safe and fun school year.

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