School Bus Safety
Having looked at School Zones in last week's column, I will continue the theme and look at the school bus this week. The potential for confusion exists here because there is more than one method used in various school districts for loading and unloading students at the side of the highway.
The Baltimore System may be the most common method. If the bus is able to leave the highway and use a pullout, the bus driver will not activate the flashing red lights. Students will load or unload in the pullout and will not cross the highway until after the bus departs. If there is no pullout, the bus driver will stop on the highway and activate the flashing red lights. Students will then load or unload and will not cross the highway until after the bus departs.
In districts that don't use the Baltimore System the school bus will always stop on the highway and the driver will activate the flashing red lights. The students will load or unload, and the driver will not turn the lights off until after all students have crossed the highway and moved away.
When meeting or overtaking a school bus showing flashing red lights drivers must stop and not proceed until the lights are shut off or the bus resumes travel. If this rule is followed and the driver exercises caution prior to proceeding these differences should not cause any problem and the children will be safe.