Big yellow buses are hitting the roads across the state today as school begins again and police departments in the region are asking drivers to look out for them.
Law enforcement officials are pleading with commuters to drive slow and be careful around schools and busses. After the long summer break, it’s a habit drivers may not be used to on their commutes.
"And the fact that people, whatever the reason, whether it’s by habit, or it’s just their regular routine, they’re not paying attention to the fact that there’s a school bus on the road. And now, this time of year, that school bus is loaded with children," said Chief Gene Conway from the DeWitt Police Department.
Conway says the biggest cause of accidents around schools they’re seeing is distracted drivers.
"So whether they’re not paying attention to the fact that it’s a school zone, they’re texting, they’re on their cell phones," he said. "And that’s what’s most alarming to us. Not only are they not driving the speed limit through the school zone, they’re not even paying attention."
Conway says to slow down near schools and stop when busses are stopped and have their stop signs out. That goes for traffic moving in both directions.
Police say they see an alarming number of accidents occur on school grounds – as parents try to drop off and pick up children.