Back to school traffic reminders
HELENA – As our young Montanans return to school in the next couple of weeks, we need to pay extra close attention to the school zones and buses while driving. Officials say to many drivers break laws around school buses.  

Sergeant Alex Betz with the Montana Highway Patrol says it is unacceptable to run through a regular stop sign, and the same standards apply when it comes to a school bus stop sign and that the laws are there for the safety of our kids.  

MHP says school bus stop arm violations are one of the most frequent traffic complaints they receive. But the biggest thing to watch out for are the kids trying to get onto the bus. 

“No matter how much we teach our kids to look both ways before crossing the street, when the school bus is coming their focused on the school bus, they're not necessarily focused on the traffic,” says Sergeant Betz. 

MHP reminds drivers to slow down and to not speed up when you see the flashing amber lights, stop about 30 feet from the school bus when you see the stop arm, and to not proceed until the stop arm has been retracted. But if you have a question on whether or not you have to stop it is always better to play it safe. 

“The stop arm is out there for the safety of our kids that are boarding and getting off the school bus. So when you see the stop arm out stop,” says Sergeant Betz. 

MHP says if you ever have a question about any of these laws to find a trooper and ask or call the Highway Patrol and they will be there to help at any time. 

They also wants to make sure everyone knows how to report one of these violations. They say to first Call 911 and give as much information to the dispatcher as you can but most importantly, we as the public owe it to each other to take care of our children. 

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