Exercise caution around school buses

Published 7:00 am Thursday, July 26, 2018

In less than two weeks, students attending schools throughout Pearl River County will begin a new academic year.

Pearl River Central School District Transportation Director Lisa Beech remind the public to watch for school buses and advises motorists to keep a safe distance from them at all times.

Starting Aug. 6, children will be waiting at bus stops in the early morning hours for buses to carry them to class, Beech said.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Along city and county roads, the speed limit is 35 miles per hour, a limit bus drivers are required to maintain, Beech said. As mandated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, the maximum speed a school bus can travel on the interstate is 50 miles per hour, Beech said. On state highways, the limit is 45 miles per hour for school bus.

The Pearl River Central School District currently has 35 buses that transport approximately 2,200 to 2,500 students to and from school daily, Beech said.

Some of the buses run double routes, wherein drivers pick up and drop off elementary students first before picking up middle and high school students, Beech said.

Buses used locally are designed to hold 77 passengers, she said. On average, buses in the PRC School District transport about 50-60 elementary students 40-50 middle and high school students per trip, Beech said.

Beech said school buses are eight times safer than personal vehicles, since they are equipped with metal reinforcements on the frame.

In the past year, the District has been purchasing buses equipped with lap and shoulder belts to ensure student safety, she said.

All District buses are air-conditioned and have equipment that records the speed and location of the buses.