Letter: Be alert about stopped school buses

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With the warm and humid weather we’ve been experiencing lately, I’ve occasionally had a feeling of surprise when I’ve seen school buses picking up and dropping off children in South Portland, only to remember a few seconds later, “This is September, not August, and school is back in session.”

School buses are the safest form of transportation on earth, built to crash-worthiness standards that put the average SUV or minivan to shame. Nevertheless, a small number of children are killed every year in school bus-related traffic incidents – usually not while they’re on the bus, but most frequently while they’re disembarking from the bus.

We all know that it’s dangerous and illegal to pass a stopped school bus, but there are so many distractions that can cause a perfectly good driver do just that: texting, adjusting the stereo, reaching for a dropped object, or simply not expecting to encounter a school bus on these muggy days we’ve been having.

Please remember that those big yellow buses are carrying the most precious of cargoes: our children. Stay alert, and be prepared to stop when you see the flashing lights.

Rolla Dowling
South Portland

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