TPS officials want drivers to know that updated bus routes and more buses on the roads now mean drivers need to be more attentive and limit distractions.
TOLEDO, Ohio — The Toledo Public School Transportation Department transports about 2,500 students each day, but with back to school and updated bus routes, safety and change are things officials want drivers to be more aware.
Cindy Fox, director of TPS transportation, said care was essential to ensure children are safe and drivers should plan for altered traffic around school zones when traveling.
“You know there’s a lot of yellow buses that they’re not used to, so maybe their timing isn’t good to get to where they need to be,” Fox said. “So just be careful and put down your cell phones and watch who’s on the road.”
The department teaches students about safety precautions, but it wants drivers to also learn to be aware, because students don’t always follow.
“We have hand signals that we work with the children with, we give them safe places where they have to get off the bus and stay there until the bus leaves. This way there is no possibility of tragedies or accidents happen,” said integration instructor Cassandra Sanchez.
The age of students using TPS transportation ranges from kindergarten to high school. Now schools are having to change bus routes due to a shortage of drivers, Fox said.
“We don’t have random stops closer to a lot of people’s homes,” she said. “We have to go to corner stops, which is what we mostly do. So that was a big change for us.”
Sanchez said it can prevent children from knowing where to walk, which could also pose a threat to drivers.
“Children who are not in the right corner cross even when they are not in the right crosswalk,” she said. “Just be alert at all times, because not every child goes around a corner like they should.”
Fox and Sanchez are also keen to point out that you should stop behind a bus, and that you should also stop if you are in the opposite lane of a bus in Ohio. If you’re on a four-lane highway with or without a center lane, however, you don’t need to do this if you’re driving in the opposite direction.
It is important to watch out for these buses as they said that many accidents that happen outside of school zones are cars crashing into the buses.