Note: This story appears in the Tuesday, Sept. 3 newspaper on Page A1.

With school back in session, local districts and law enforcement agencies alike are urging drivers to be safe around school buses.

A main point of concern is making sure traffic knows when to stop. Most know to stop when driving behind and alongside a bus as it drops off or picks up children.

Traffic headed the opposite direction is expected to stop as well, if on a two-lane or three-lane road.

For roads with four or more lanes, only the traffic headed in the same direction as the bus must stop.

“We need the public to help us out. So many people run our stop signs,” Alexander’s transportation supervisor Dan Phillips told The Messenger last year.

Many school districts host safety sessions with drivers and students at the beginning of the school year and during National School Bus Safety Week, held each October.

Other agencies such as the Ohio State Highway Patrol and Athens County Sheriff’s Office are active in teaching bus safety as well.

The sheriff’s office recently posted a series of bus safety tips to Facebook, writing the “greatest risk (for students) is not riding the bus but approaching or leaving the bus.”

The post highlighted the flashing signal light system — yellow flashing lights indicate a bus will soon stop to load or unload children. Red flashing lights and the extended stop arms indicate students are currently getting on or off the bus. Only when the lights are off, the stop arms are withdrawn and the bus is moving again can other traffic move also.

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