GROVELAND — Chief Jeffrey Gillen and the Groveland Police Department wish to share an update on the School Bus Safety Campaign.
The initiative was started approximately three years ago in order to help increase safety for student bus riders. During the runs to and from school, Groveland Police will accompany buses along their routes to ensure all drivers are following the rules of the road.
Since then, the department has seen a reduction in the number of complaints of cars passing school buses.
“Even though this school year looks different than those of the past due to the pandemic, our bus drivers do a great job getting kids to school and back safely,” Chief Gillen said. “We admire their commitment to the safety of our young residents and are glad to help support them in this way.”
According to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH), approximately 400,000 students in the state are transported to school by bus every year.
The DPH reports that the majority of school bus related injuries occur to pedestrians who are boarding or exiting a bus and are hit by passing traffic or while in one of the bus driver’s blind spots. Children ages 4 to 7 are at the highest risk of injury.
Residents are reminded:
- State law requires drivers to stay at least 100 feet behind a school bus at all times.
- Motorists also must stop for school buses and school vans when red lights are flashing. Be on the lookout for flashing yellow and red lights, and be ready to stop.
- Never pass a school bus when its stop sign arm is down and red lights are flashing.
- Do not begin driving again until the flashing red lights are turned off, the stop sign is put back in place and the bus begins moving.
Drivers who fail to stop for a school bus with its red lights activated are subject to a $250 fine, and motorists with two or more offenses can have their licenses revoked.