Area schools are back in session, which means school buses are on the road again. And that means drivers need to be aware of children sharing the roadways as they walk to and from the bus stops and school buildings.
We know how jarring it can be to go from freely driving the streets of our towns to having to come to a sudden stop when a bus is picking up or dropping off a child. We also know how easy it is for someone to lose patience when sitting in a long line of cars while buses are making these stops on busy streets. But there is no excuse for trying to pass a stopped school bus with its red lights flashing — and it’s against the law. Those flashing lights mean children are getting on or getting off the bus, and we should let them do so safely.
Those same courtesies should be extended at crosswalks near schools. Crossing guards aren’t there to make your commute a living hell. They are doing their job, which is to make certain every student gets to school in one piece. The least you can do is obey their stop signs and wait for the children to cross. It only takes a few seconds for a group of children to make it from one side of the street to the other. It’s not a big deal in the grander scheme of things.
Speaking of crosswalks, Bethlehem drivers using the Delaware Avenue corridor should be aware of a change at Elsmere Elementary School. Instead of having children cross the road in front of the school, the town now has them using the crosswalk at the intersection of Delaware and Elsmere avenues. So besides having the crossing guards, children will also benefit by having the use of the traffic light and its crossing signal. It’s a smart move by the Town of Bethlehem and the Bethlehem Central School District.
Frankly, we shouldn’t have to tell you what to do when schools are in session. Many of you have children in school, so you’re aware of what you should do when you’re behind the wheel in those situations. Still, there are drivers who think they are above the law and could care less about the danger they’re putting themselves and those around them in when they make an aggressive move. This is why we have to make these yearly appeals. If this message causes even one person to adjust their driving habits accordingly around schools and school buses, then it’s worth it for us.
Here is another way to look at it: You’d want other drivers to stop for the children you care about, so you should do the same.