With thousands of children returning to school on the Sapphire Coast last week, local bus company owners Jamie and Anton Klemm urge parents, children and the broader community to take care around buses.
The safety warning from Sapphire Coast Buslines comes after five reported cases in New South Wales this year where students have been hit by cars after exiting a bus.
Sapphire Coast Buslines drivers have also reported an increase in children riding bikes to school crossing the path of oncoming buses. School buses are back on the road today (April 27) transporting more than 2800 students to 14 schools in Eden, Bega, Wolumla, Pambula, Pambula Beach, Merimbula and Tathra.
Ms Klemm said the most at-risk time for children travelling by bus was in the minutes after they got off and encouraged parents to talk to their children about being safe around buses. She asked schools to also talk to students about bus safety.
“Our number one priority is getting students safely to and from school, and we need to be continually talking about how important it is for everyone to be safe around the school buses,” Ms Klemm said. “It’s something we can’t say enough times, especially at the end of the day when children are getting off.”
She said they were also concerned about the number of children on bikes not adhering to road rules around buses.
“This is extremely dangerous and it is of great concern to us, given that buses take three times longer to pull up than a car,” she said.
Ms Klemm said a few simple bus safety tips for parents and children were:
She said people driving on the road also needed to take care around school buses.
“Buses use signs and orange flashing wigwag lights to warn you that they are picking up or setting down school children. The lights begin to flash when the bus stops and the doors are opened.
“They keep flashing for about 30 seconds after the doors close and continue even after the bus moves off. You must not drive past the bus in the same direction at more than 40 kilometres an hour while the lights are flashing as there may be children crossing or about to cross the road.”
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