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School Bus Safety


School buses are the safest mode of transportation for getting children back and forth to school. Riding in a school bus is safer than walking, riding a bicycle, or being driven to school in private vehicles.

Today’s school buses are built with safety in mind. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, children are protected in large school buses by compartmentalization, a passive occupant protection system. This provides a protective envelope consisting of strong, closely-spaced seats that have energy-absorbing padded seat backs that help to distribute and reduce crash forces. Compartmentalization is most effective when occupants are fully seated within the bus seat. Seating should be provided that will allow each occupant to sit on a school bus seat without any part of his or her body extending into the aisle.

The majority of bus-related deaths and injuries involve pedestrians-mostly children-who are struck by a bus or injured when they are exiting the bus to cross traffic.

School bus safety tips for drivers:

  • Prepare to stop when a slowing bus has its overhead yellow lights flashing
  • Stop at least 20 feet away for buses when red lights are flashing, unless driving in the opposite direction on a divided highway
  • Slow down in or near school and residential areas
  • Look for clues-such as safety patrols, crossing guards, bicycles, and playgrounds-that indicate children might be in the area
  • Watch for children between parked cars and other objects

School buses are like traffic signals

  • When overhead lights are flashing yellow: Prepare to stop
  • When overhead lights are flashing red: Stop
  • When hazard warning lights are flashing: Proceed with caution

School bus safety tips for students:

  • Always stay in sight of the bus driver
  • Don’t hurry off the bus; check traffic first
  • Don’t go back to the bus after exitingBACK-Bus-safety-2

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School buses are like traffic signals

When overhead lights are flashing yellow—PREPARE TO STOP!

When overhead lights are flashing red—STOP

When the hazard warning lights are flashing—PROCEED WITH CAUTION

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Car crashes into school bus


By Judy Reed

A crash involving a car and a school bus sent one person to the hospital on Tuesday, March 29.

According to Sgt. Jason Kelley, with the Kent County Sheriff Department Cedar Springs Unit, the crash occurred on 18 Mile Rd near White Creek, in Solon Township, about 8:23 a.m.

A 68-year-old Solon Township woman was traveling east on 18 Mile behind a Cedar Springs Public Schools bus carrying elementary children, when the bus began to slow down for another bus it was following that was stopping to pick up children. The woman was reportedly blinded by the sun, and did not see the bus stopping. She then crashed into the back of the bus without braking, according to a witness.

None of the children on the bus were injured. Another bus was sent to pick up the children and transport them to school.

The bus driver, a 48-year-old woman from Spencer Township, complained of general pain. She was checked out by Rockford ambulance but was not hospitalized.

The driver of the car was sent to Butterworth Hospital by Rockford ambulance with non-life-threatening injuries.

“We are forever grateful for the Kent County Sheriff Department, Fire Department, paramedics and all other first responders for their prompt, caring and professional response to the needs of our school district and community,” said Cedar Springs Public Schools Superintendent Laura VanDuyn.

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Van runs into school bus

A Cedar Springs school bus was hit from behind by another vehicle Monday morning.

According to Assistant Superintendent David Cairy, the bus was stopped on northbound Algoma at 22 Mile, when a van struck the back of the bus and ended up underneath the bumper of the bus.

Cairy said that they notified police, and transportation supervisor Jerry Gavin went out and checked on the students, as well as arranged transportation for them and the rest of the route to get to school. About a dozen elementary students were on the bus at the time. Cairy said there were no injuries.

“We are very pleased with the way the staff handled it,” said Cairy.

The official police report was not available at press time.


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Pickup runs into school bus

A Cedar Springs School bus was hit by a pickup truck driver Wednesday afternoon. No students were hurt in the accident. Post photo by J. Reed.

Seven students escaped injury this afternoon when an intoxicated driver hit a Cedar Springs Public Schools bus.

The accident happened shortly before 3 p.m. at the corner of 18 Mile and Main Street in Cedar Springs.

According to Cedar Springs Police Chief Roger Parent, a pickup truck, driven by a 48-year-old Cedar Springs man, was heading north on Main Street, and attempted to turn right on to 18 Mile, where he crossed over the center line, and hit a school bus waiting at the stop sign to turn left on Main Street. He hit the bus in the left rear wheel area.

Parent said the pickup driver’s door could have been open, because the bus driver reported that the driver was falling out as he passed her window. He didn’t actually fall out, however.

Police believe alcohol was involved. Parent said the driver did admit to recently drinking and was arrested. He is expected to be arraigned Thursday. Neither the driver nor his 60-year-old passenger were injured.

Parent said the bus driver reported minor shoulder pain, consistent with wearing a seatbelt.

According to Assistant Cedar Springs Superintendent David Cairy, the students on the bus were middle school to high school age. He said each student was checked out individually to be sure they were uninjured. They were then put on another bus to finish the route.

“Overall it was a good result to an unfortunate accident,” said Parent.

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Car rear ends school bus

A school bus loaded with 31 kids was rear-ended by another vehicle in Kent City last week.
According to the Kent County Sheriff Department, the accident occurred near the intersection of S. Main and E. Muskegon in the Village of Kent City. The bus driver, Paul Olson, 50, of Cedar Springs, had stopped at the four-way stop, when a 2004 Chevy Trailblazer ran into the back of the bus. The driver of them Trailblazer, Cassi Hansen, 30, of Comstock Park, told police she was reaching into the back seat to give her child a cup when the accident occurred. No one sustained any injuries. The driver was cited for failing to stop within assured clear distance.

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School buses are like traffic signals

Just under 900 school buses were involved in crashes last year. The Rockford school bus above was involved in one a couple of weeks ago when a motorist ran a stop sign. Luckily no children were on board.

National School Bus Safety Week is Oct. 17-21

Motorists are reminded to treat school bus lights like traffic signals during National School Bus Safety Week, Oct. 17-21.
When a school bus’ overhead lights are flashing yellow, motorists should prepare to stop.
    When its overhead lights are flashing red, motorists must stop.
    When a bus’ hazard lights are flashing, motorists should proceed with caution.
Failure to obey these rules could result in costly fines and fees. In July, Public Acts 59 and 60 of 2011 took effect, increasing the penalties for motorists who fail to exercise caution in school bus safety zones. The new laws double the fines for moving violations committed in a school bus safety zone and make it a misdemeanor for injuring and a felony for killing a child getting on or off a school bus.
Motorists should also slow down in or near school and residential areas and watch for children emerging from between parked cars and other objects.
“School buses are considered the safest form of transportation to and from school,” said Michael L. Prince, Office of Highway Safety Planning director. “However, getting on and off the bus poses a great risk to students.”
In 2010, Michigan school buses were involved in 882 crashes that resulted in 273 injuries, according to Michigan Traffic Crash Facts. A majority of those injured were drivers and passengers in motor vehicles involved in crashes with buses. Two people died in school bus-involved crashes, a passenger vehicle occupant and a student who was struck by a tree branch while leaning out the bus window.
During National School Bus Safety Week, parents are also encouraged to remind children about safety while waiting for the bus and walking to school.
When entering and exiting a school bus, children should walk 10 feet away from the bus before turning. Children crossing in front of the bus should move forward, away from the bus until they can make eye contact with the driver and should never cross without the driver’s permission.
Order free traffic safety flyers on school bus safety at www.michian./ohsp. Click on “traffic safety materials.”

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Cars crash, hit school bus

This Expedition pulled into the path of another car, causing a collision involving this Cedar Springs School bus. Post photo by J. Reed.

A Cedar Springs School bus waiting for traffic was hit Wednesday while taking kids home from school.

According to Kent County Sheriff Deputy Ryan Coil, Bus #37 was eastbound on 17 Mile about 2:45 p.m. and was stopped and waiting to turn north on Myers Lake, when an Expedition, which was southbound on Myers Lake, pulled out from the stop sign and into the path of a westbound PT Cruiser. The ensuing collision knocked one of the cars into the bus.

Cedar Springs Police helped with traffic control at the scene of an accident involving a school bus Wednesday.

According to Cedar Springs Public Schools Assistant Superintendent David Cairy, a Cedar Springs Fire and Rescue checked out the students and everyone said they were ok. He also said a bus mechanic checked out the bus, and it was fine, too.

Deputy Coil said that no one was injured in the accident.

None of the students were injured in the accident Wednesday.


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