Local school bus driver discusses safety as students start returning to class

PITTSBURGH — Local students head back to class soon and a veteran school bus driver wants to remind students and drivers about safety.

We caught up with Barbara Davis doing a final check of her bus at Marshall Intermediate — preparing and anticipating for the first day of school.

“I’ve been working for North Allegheny before almost 11 years,” Davis said. “We’ve had a couple of rough years of not having the buses and not having students so hopefully this year will be better.”

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The buses will be rolling this year and Davis says the hardest thing that school bus drivers deal with is other vehicles not stopping for their yellow and red bus lights.

“People have a habit of seeing the yellows and running through them because they don’t wanna get behind or in front of a school bus. Which is really difficult for us because we can’t stop buses on a dime,” Davis said.

State law requires drivers to stop if the school bus is stopped, its arm is extended and red lights are flashing.

But Davis says that’s not always the case.

“Well when you see the yellows, you’re supposed to slow down because you know we’re going to stop. Once the reds are activated and the stop signs come out, they are supposed to stop within 100 feet of the bus,” Davis said.

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And if drivers don’t stop, state police say violators can be fined $250, lose their license for 60 days and have five points added to their driving records

Safety is a top priority — and students have to do their part.

“The biggest thing kids need to know: Safety is an issue. We are responsible for our children once they get on the bus and until they get off the bus. So the rules are you need to sit, you need to not lean out and not stand up,” Davis said.

State police also say students should always walk at least 10 feet in front of the bus so the driver can see you. And while waiting for the bus, line up at least five giant steps away from the curb or road.

State police also want to remind school kids to never cross the street behind the bus.

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