Los Alamos Public Schools buses line up at the Pajarito Cliffs Site. Photo Courtesy LAPS
On Monday, Feb. 11, Los Alamos Public Schools will kick off their school bus safety campaign. This campaign will encourage drivers in Los Alamos to be extra vigilant and stop when the stop arm is extended.
Running the stop arm and flashing red lights of a school bus is not only against the law, it also endangers the safety of students getting on and off the bus. Over the next few weeks, LAPS will be promoting bus safety in our schools and across the community. Los Alamos County has is presenting a proclamation to LAPS on Monday naming the week of Feb. 11-15, 2019 as “School Bus Safety Week.”
Since the beginning of the school year, and even the start of the new semester, LAPS bus drivers have reported an increasing number of cars, throughout Los Alamos County, driving through the stop arm and flashing red lights of LAPS school buses. Last semester, 65+ cars ran a bus stop arm; in the past month alone, 20+ cars have driven through a bus stop arm.
In Los Alamos County, the penalty for running a school bus stop arm is, at minimum, a $265 fine and 6 points off your driver’s license.
Each and every driver can do their part by remembering school bus safety rules and tips.
- First, drive slowly and look for children waiting at the bus stop, walking or riding their bicycles to school.
- Second, know what the flashing lights indicate. A red flashing light with the extended stop arm means traffic is required to stop, even in both directions of a two-lane road. Yellow flashing lights mean the bus is preparing to stop, so proceed with caution.
- Finally, follow all school zone speed limits, look for students in crosswalks and never pass a bus on the outside of a turn.
If you have any questions about school bus stops or school bus safety, please contact the Transportation Department at 663-2255.