Each day school buses transport approximately 295,000 Arkansas public school children to and from school on 4,400 route buses covering an area of almost 250,000 road miles. Each day, Arkansas school bus drivers assume a tremendous amount of responsibility for the safe transportation of Arkansas children.
Legislation passed during the recent General Assembly of the Arkansas Legislature, Act 1516 of 1999, provides that passing a stopped school bus which is receiving or discharging passengers is a Class A misdemeanor. With the upcoming 1999-2000 school year, it is imperative that all public school staff members work to vigorously publicize the danger and consequences of passing a stopped school bus.
School administrators are strongly encouraged to use a variety of tools to communicate information about the new law to school patrons. These tools and activities could include placing news stories in the local newspaper or on the local television or radio station; distributing handouts to parents; posting flyers in local businesses; and distributing handouts at local factories. Superintendents are also encouraged to have direct conversations with the local police department, the Arkansas State Police, county law enforcement officials, and the local prosecuting attorney concerning enforcement of the law.
School bus drivers and Arkansas motorists must work together to help ensure saver roads for Arkansas public school students. Hopefully, by sharing information about this new legislation and practicing good driving habits, Arkansas children can have a safe school year.