Some changes to bus procedures

Published 5:40 pm Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Ready to roll: The Chilton County school system has added 18 new buses to its fleet, including 16 standard buses and two special education buses. Shown are several of the 2012 models that will be used staring Monday.

Eighteen new buses are all shined up and ready to roll for the 2011-2012 Chilton County school year, and there are a few changes parents and motorists should be aware of.

Buses will no longer be stopping to let children cross four lanes of traffic. Instead, buses will make stops on both sides of four-lane highways. School Transportation Supervisor Joe Dennis said this will be the first year for the rule to be fully implemented.

“We’re just trying to do everything we can to keep children from getting hurt,” Dennis said.

“(Motorists) are still required to stop,” he added, referring to cars traveling in both directions that approach a stopped bus.

Students will be allowed to take water onto buses when the temperature exceeds 90 degrees. Soft drinks are never allowed on school buses, Dennis said.

“We don’t want them to overheat,” he said.

A route in Isabella was lost due to cutbacks, and minor changes have been made to Clanton routes. The school transportation department has made an effort to contact individuals who are affected.

“Pretty much the same buses will be on the same routes,” Dennis said.

Following are school bus safety tips parents can share with their children:

•Be at the bus stop five minutes before the scheduled arrival time.

•Use sidewalks and crosswalks when available. If not, walk on the left side of the street.

•Do not run to or from the bus stop.

•Check traffic carefully before crossing the street.

•Be alert for vehicles in driveways and parking lots.

•Line up away from the street with the first person no closer than six feet from the roadside.

•Refrain from horseplay while waiting on the bus.

•Do not move toward the bus until the driver has given you permission.

Note: Safety tips provided by the Alabama Department of Education.