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The original item was published from 10/21/2022 11:16:00 AM to 12/18/2022 12:00:00 AM.

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Palm Desert Station

Posted on: October 17, 2022

[ARCHIVED] National School Bus Safety Week

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Riverside County Sheriff's Department Press Release

Reporting Deputy: Joshua Robertson

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Riverside Sheriff’s Department and the Cities of Rancho Mirage and Palm Desert Reminds Drivers to Always Stop for School Buses During National School Bus Safety Week

Indian Wells, Palm Desert and Rancho Mirage, Calif. – This National School Bus Safety Week (October 17-21), Riverside Sheriff’s Department supports efforts throughout the state to keep children and caregivers safe by reminding drivers on the dangers of passing a stopped school bus. Drivers are required to come to a complete stop when a school bus stop-arm is extended, and the red lights are flashing.

Held annually during the third week of October, National School Bus Safety Week is a way for parents, children, teachers, bus drivers, school administrators and law enforcement to promote traveling to and from school by bus as a safe transportation option. This year’s campaign focuses on preventing illegal school bus passing.

While riding the bus is the safest way for children to get to and from school, an alarming number of drivers illegally pass school buses who have their red lights activated. From 2011 to 2020 a total of 218 school-age children (18 and younger) died in school-bus-related crashes during that period, either riding on school buses, other cars, or on foot or bike, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

With few exceptions, California law requires drivers to stop in both directions when a school bus has flashing red lights on. Drivers must stop until the red lights are off, and children are on or off the bus and safely out of the road.

“It is so important that we remind drivers in our community that when red lights are flashing, there is no passing,” Riverside Sheriff’s Department Deputy Joshua Robertson said. “Children and their caretakers are relying on drivers to follow the law and keep them safe.”

Funding for this program is provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

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