MEDINA — In the city, there have been 40 reported violations for failing to stop for a school bus since the start of the 2018-19 school year, said Medina Schools officials Monday.
In an effort to keep the community informed about the dangers and the importance of following the law, Medina Schools has launched a bus safety campaign, “When Big Yellow Stops, Everyone Stops.”
The campaign kicked off Monday at the school board meeting. It’s a collaborative effort of the Medina Police Department, Montville Township police, Medina Township police, Medina Schools’ transportation department and the district’s community relations department, headed by Amy Busby.
“It’s one of our biggest problems,” transportation department manager Rob Travis said. “This is why now, more than ever, we need to continue to bring awareness to the procedures and laws surrounding school bus safety (and stay) consistent with information to our parents, students, staff and community.”
In the U.S., there have been more than 15 million violations per year, including fatalities related to drivers that do not stop for stopped buses. Nationwide, there is an average of 19 student deaths every year because of drivers failing to stop, according to the National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation.
The local campaign will consist of yard signs, as well as bumper stickers and an ongoing public service announcement video series that will be available on the district’s Facebook, Twitter and website, along with the police departments’ social media accounts. The PSA will be aired on MedinaTV’s Channel 201.
The campaign also hopes to curtail distracted driving.
Travis said drivers shouldn’t have a problem spotting a stop bus as all Medina Schools buses are equipped with additional bright white flashing lights on the front and rear of the buses. When buses stop in poorly lit areas, the inside dome light is turned on to ensure students can see drivers, and the drivers can see the students.
Neon gloves have also been distributed to drivers to wear when giving hand signals to riders to help ensure that students are able to see the hand of the driver.
Pedestrian crossing lights, which will illuminate the roadway, are in the process of being installed on buses in the fleet.
Travis said he would love for the campaign to go statewide.
“It’s important that we work together to help keep our children safe,” he said.
Travis said passing a school bus with its red lights on can bring stiff penalties, including a $500 fine and a possible suspension.
“Children’s lives are at stake,” Travis said. “We have to do a better job of getting the message out.”