North Carolina has just approved policy revisions requiring bus drivers to use hand signals to help passengers safely cross the street.
The North Carolina State Board of Education’s revised policy now requires all school bus drivers to use standard hand signals to let students know when it’s safe for them to cross the street. The first hand signal will tell students to wait to cross. The second signal, a “thumbs-up”, will let them know that they are safe to cross the street.
The new hand signal requirement is designed to accomplish two objectives: empowering the bus driver to ensure it is safe for students to step into the street, and making students stop and think by looking at the school bus driver before they step into the street. Students and drivers will go through training to know what each signal means and what to do before crossing the street.
The revision was prompted by statewide incidents in which five students were injured by motorists passing stopped school buses this year. State data since 1998 show that over 3,000 cars per day do not stop for stopped school buses with their stop arms extended.
We can never have enough ways, or systems in place, to protect our children!