School buses hitting the roads as students head back to class

CBS 21

Today is the “big day” for many kids as they head back to school. With that in mind, drivers need to be aware as the school buses will once again be mobilizing.

“The kids are all excited to go back to school,” said Rohrer bus driver Christina Persing.

Monday morning students at the Dover School District will be heading back to class. It’s been a few months since both kids and drivers have seen the flashing lights of a school bus, but the number one thought should always be safety first.

“Bus drivers have a lot of responsibility and one of them is to make sure that the children are safe,” Persing said.

It’s Persing’s 12th year on the job for Rohrer Bus. Each school day, more than 80 Lower Dauphin families trust her with their most prized possession, their children.

“They give me a chuckle from time to time and that gives me great enjoyment,” she said.

It’s a responsibility that Persing takes seriously, but she also needs the public's help. Over the next few days, parents should remind kids about bus safety, sitting down while the bus is in motion, not distracting the driver and talking quietly. But safety begins even before the kids come aboard.

“Making sure they are getting up on the sidewalk or get up off of the road and waiting for the bus to come to a complete stop,” Persing said.

Most of this stuff is common sense. Think about it, a school bus is 40 feet long. That’s a lot of area for the driver to keep track of. That’s why they say they need help from drivers as well as students to make sure everyone remains safe.

That means drivers should slow down, avoid distractions and put away the cell phones.

“It's very important that they, at all times, are concentrating on the children crossing the road and getting on and off the bus,” Persing said.

Failure to obey these laws can cost some big bucks, including a maximum $250 fine, 60-day license suspension and five points on your license.

When and where to stop is always a big question. Give the bus 10 feet when stopped or stopping and the only time you don’t have to stop for a stopped bus is if there is a barrier in between the lanes, like a grass median or a concrete barrier.