Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

AAA Mid-Atlantic urges drivers to be alert as kids return to school

Schools are back in session in the First State, putting school busses back on the road.

AAA’s annual School's Open Drive Carefully Campaign focuses on making sure drivers pay attention to school zones and school buses.

This time of year is particularly dangerous as young drivers, school buses, student pedestrians and bicyclists all share the road during the morning and afternoon commutes.

Triple A’s Mid-Atlantic’s Jana Tidwell says more school-age pedestrians are killed between the hours of three and four p.m. than any other time of day.

“In your heart, you know, you just want those kids to be able to get to and from school safely, and you hope that all other motorists out there on the roadways view your kids the way you do and want the same for them.”

While many adults continue to work from home, Tidwell says there’s still a lot of traffic as students return to the classroom.

“There are plenty of folks out there commuting to work, and now they’re commuting with school buses again, and children walking to and from school - or biking to and from school.”

Tidwell notes the afternoon commute is especially dangerous. More school-age pedestrians are killed between the hours of three and four p.m. than any other time of day.

School bus safety is also a concern. Delaware State Police reported 160 school bus crashes in 2022, with no fatalities.

On two lane roads, state law requires traffic in both directions to stop when a bus’ red lights are on. On four lane roads, only vehicles behind a bus must stop.

A first offense for passing a stopped school bus with its lights on carries a fine of up to $230 and/or 30 and 60 days in jail.

Karl Lengel has worked in the lively arts as an actor, announcer, manager, director, administrator and teacher. In broadcast, he has accumulated three decades of on-air experience, most recently in New Orleans as WWNO’s anchor for NPR’s “All Things Considered” and a host for the broadcast/podcast “Louisiana Considered”.