Eau Claire Student Transit stresses road safety for back to school season

Eau Claire (WQOW) – Education is important, but so is the bus ride there to receive it.

Two Eau Claire schools have already started classes, and Student Transit buses were out on Wednesday, picking up and dropping off students. Their top priority is to keep your precious cargo safe.

Yellow flashing lights on the top of the bus warn drivers to prepare to stop at least 20 feet from the bus. Flashing red lights, with or without their stop signs mean drivers must stop. Flashing yellow lights (hazard lights) on the bottom half of the bus mean you can proceed with caution, but not everyone follows these rules. Student Transit drivers said violations happen, on average, once a day. The fine is $326 and four points off your license.

“We had a close call several years ago, where a vehicle went to the right, around the bus, with the red lights on,” said Marty Klukas, general manager of Student Transit. “So, thank goodness the driver saw the vehicle coming and kept the person on the bus, kept the student on the bus. So, ultimately more than likely saving that student’s life.”

Some Student Transit buses have cameras to catch violators. Drivers can also record license plates and follow up with authorities. Student Transit drivers said ultimately, following flashing lights can be confusing, but when in doubt, just stop.

For more information on national statistics, see this survey done by the National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation Services.

Shannon Hoyt

Shannon Hoyt

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