Police encourage drivers to brush up on driving around school bus laws

GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (KSNB) - School bus drivers say they see the same road mistakes year after year, which put their students at risk when they drop them off. Drivers are now wanting to remind people what those laws actually are.

The biggest one they say they see is cars not stopping when they do.

"We have people constantly running the stop arm, so drivers need to be really careful about letting the kids out, making sure that they're checking their mirrors both ways to make sure kids aren't walking out into the traffic," Brock Brown, Operations Manager with the Holiday Express Bus company, said.

State law says cars driving all directions on that road need to stop, but many people often just speed around them.

"When the school bus caution lights come on, that's not permission to speed up and go around them," Grand Island Police Department's Captain Jim Duering said. "That is a warning that they are about to stop and a signal to you that you should be slowing down. If the school bus stop lights are on you must stop unless there's a divider in the roadway and inside the city limits of grand island that's almost no where."

Bus drivers are trained to wait until all cars around them have stopped before letting their students get off.

"I think sometimes people get a little impatient with the buses, but our biggest thing is we value the safety over the timeliness of it," Brown said. "We want to take care of the kids, they're the most precious cargo we can transport. So please be patient with the buses, they might move a little slow but it's just because they have so many kids and they want to take care of everyone."

Drivers should also be patient while driving through 15 mile per hour school zones.

"Anytime children are present, all kind of school zones are 15 miles per hour unless otherwise marked," Captain Duering said. "Children present means they're outside the school in any way, shape or form, even one kid. We recommend during school hours you go 15 miles per hour in school zones."

The Grand Island Police Department says they will have more patrol cars stationed around schools making sure everyone is following these rules. If you pass a school bus or speed through a school zone, they can give you a citation.