Clearfield and Jefferson Counties, PA – It’s officially the start of the school season, and students are back in classrooms! DuBois, Punxsutawney and Brockway schools all started back today, and Clearfield schools were back in session yesterday. Good luck to all of our local students as they embark on a new school year!

Even if you don’t have kids in school, the new school year affects you too. Drivers will be seeing more school buses on the roadways.

Full interview with Mike Berk, the executive director of the Pennsylvania School Bus Association

Tips for driving now that school is back in session:

  • PAY ATTENTION! No distracted driving. Kids will be waiting by the sides of roads and getting on/off buses. Keep your eyes on the road.
  • Speed limits are reduced during mornings and afternoons in school zones.
  • When a school bus has its stop sign out, traffic has to stop in both directions, not just the cars behind the bus.
  • The area 10 feet around a school bus is the most dangerous for children. Stop far enough back to allow them space to safely enter and exit the bus.
  • Let’s face it… kids are often unpredictable. They tend to take risks and ignore hazards. Be alert and watch out for any children near the road.

Discussions parents should have with their kids:

  • How to safely wait for the bus and get on/off. If they are young, wait with them.
  • How to act on the bus. Remain seated and quiet. Don’t stick arms/objects/anything out the windows.
  • What to do if they feel unsafe at school or on the bus. This includes if someone is bullying them, if other kids are doing dangerous things on the bus, or if the bus driver isn’t driving safely.

Give yourself a little extra time if you drive during a time when school buses will be on the road, and be patient. The beginning of a new school year is an exciting time, and we want our kids to get to school safely!