All Jefferson County school districts, except for Dollarway, began classes on Monday. Dollarway’s first day will be Wednesday.
Dozens of buses filled the streets of Pine Bluff early Monday morning as weary-eyed kids boarded them on their way to the first day of school. For many, it was their first-ever day. For others, it was the beginning of their last year of high school.
School and law enforcement officials are reminding motorists who have not been used to seeing bright yellow buses for the past few months about the importance of school bus safety.
Jerry Owens is the senior transportation manager at the Arkansas Division of Public School Academic Facilities and Transportation.
“School bus safety is important throughout the entire year,” Owens said in a news release. “It is important for all motorists to know that it is illegal to pass a stopped school bus when its red lights are flashing. Remember: Flashing Red. Kids Ahead.”
In April, more than 3,200 Arkansas school bus drivers reported more than 850 instances of motorists illegally passing a stopped school bus in one day.
“Through the Flashing Red. Kids Ahead. campaign, our goal is to educate all motorists about the importance of obeying all traffic laws, including those involving school buses,” Owens said. “The safety of our students depends on it.”
This year’s Flashing Red. Kids Ahead campaign features information such as sample press releases districts can use to tailor the program for their area, handouts and brochures that feature safety tips for parents, videos and a link to the law regarding bus safety, according to the release.
“Everyone is encouraged to be a part of the 2018 campaign by posting videos and pictures that promote school bus safety on social media using #2018FlashingRed,” according to the release.