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In the theme of our recent safety blogs and what states are doing to make school buses safer for our students, we find that the Kansas State Department of Education has launched “Stop on Red, Kids Ahead,” a new campaign that aims to raise awareness about illegal bus passing, and received a donation of materials from a local school bus manufacturer.

As Kansas schools geared up for the 2019-20 school year, the Department of Education conducted outreach to remind motorists that they must stop when approaching a stopped school bus from either direction when its flashing red lights are on and its stop arm is extended. Motorists are required to remain stopped until the bus is no longer displaying its flashing red lights and stop arm. Violation of the law is punishable by a fine and court costs in excess of $420, according to a news release from the Department of Education.

The campaign includes news releases, social media reminders, posters for schools, safety flyers, and informational handouts, as well as 10,000 bumper stickers donated by Collins Bus Corp., a subsidiary of REV Group.

The delivery of the “Stop on Red, Kids Ahead”-themed bumper stickers was held at a press event.  “We are honored to help out with this program to get the word out on stop-arm violations,” Chris Hiebert, vice president/general manager of Collins Bus, said at the event. “Hopefully this helps to keep the kids even safer while riding the bus.”

Illegal passing of school buses is reportedly on the rise in the state, according to data collected by the Department of Education. On April 17, Kansas bus drivers reported 1,040 stop-arm violations as part of the annual Kansas one day stop-arm violation count, which is part of the National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation Services’ annual survey.

School bus safety should be a top priority year-round.  It is the responsibility of everyone to make sure students remain safe.

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