Kids dread it.  Mom's look forward to it.  The first day of school.  Many students around the country have already returned to school for the new year.  Most schools in our area open Tuesday. That means in addition to cars, trucks and farm implements, roadways will be bustling with school buses.

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The Minnesota Department of Public Safety web site has a lot of information available concerning school bus safety.  According to the Minnesota DPS, school bus crashes increased 14 percent in Minnesota last year.  That is a staggering figure.  Seventy percent of school bus crashes occur between September and May, during the hours of 6 and 9 a.m. and 3 to 6 p.m.  In Minnesota, motorists must stop at least 20 feet from a school bus that is displaying red flashing lights and/or a stop  arm.  Slow down in school zones and neighborhoods inhabited with children.  Pay attention to school buses and anticipate frequent stops for loading and unloading children.  The DPS states the best way to be aware of your surroundings is to put distractions, such as cell phones, away when driving.
Students should look both ways when getting off the bus to be sure no cars are coming.  Wait  for your bus driver to indicate that it's safe for you to cross.
Heeding these simple school bus safety recommendations can save the lives of our greatest resource -  our children.