Missouri State Highway Patrol urges drivers to be cautious on the roads as the school year approaches

Students board a bus in front of the Camdenton School District Administration Building in 2018.
Students board a bus in front of the Camdenton School District Administration Building in 2018.(KY3)
Published: Aug. 13, 2023 at 6:20 AM CDT|Updated: Aug. 13, 2023 at 9:22 AM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - As back to school time approaches, the Missouri State Highway Patrol is reminding drivers to be safe and cautious on the roads.

With the start of back to school, more buses and cars will be on the roads dropping off and picking up students, according to Sgt. Michael McClure with Missouri State Highway Patrol.

“It’s going to be a with a back to school surge, there’ll be a change in traffic patterns. So that includes the surge of school bus activity, the school zone activity with pedestrians, including bicyclists, plus those parents that are dropping kids off,” said McClure.

It’s important to remember school bus laws as you hit the roads this August. If a bus is moving on a two-lane road, you have to stop when the school bus has its lights on in either direction. On a four-lane road, only the drivers behind the bus must stop.

It’s also important to be aware as you’re driving through school zones.

“When those school zones become active, or you’re around getting closer to those school zones, just remember that this time of year is when we’re going to have those new, inexperienced young drivers in the mornings and in the afternoons that are going to be sharing the road with us too. So just be cautious and vigilant of this of the Back to School activity,” said McClure.

Another important thing is to pack your patience. More drivers will be on the roads with kids going back to school.

“Be patient, show some courtesy, and don’t let this sneak up on you. It’s August school’s going to start within the next few weeks,” said McClure.

If your kids will be walking or biking to school, make sure they’re aware of safety protocols as well. Students should walk on the sidewalk or in crosswalks, and if they must walk on the road, always walk on the left side towards traffic so cars can see them.

“Whether you’re riding on a sidewalk or walking on a sidewalk, you know, being visible on a bicycle, wearing a helmet, those things like that, that, you know, we should be practicing over the summer as well. But just to be monitoring that traffic flow to and from school,” said McClure.

Following these tips are crucial to keeping everyone safe, according to Sgt. McClure.

“Those kids are going to be getting off the bus, and they’re not completely in tune, they’re back to school mode. So they’re not completely in tune with what’s going on around them. So we have to make sure that we’re ahead of the game and Watching for the potential for a kid to dart out in traffic,” said McClure.

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