Officials: Remember, students play an important role in bus safety

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Officials are reminding students that they play an important role in staying safe when riding the bus. (WTVD)

The North Carolina State Highway Patrol and North Carolina Department of Public Instruction are reminding students that they play an important role in staying safe when riding the bus.

Experts estimate that some 780,000 students in the state will ride over 13,000 buses.

"We need to get kids' attention so that they're not distracted by their cell phones or by their backpacks or 'Did I leave something on the school bus,'" said Kevin Harrison, of the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction. "They have to be entirely focused on getting across safely. The time to have head phones on, the time to be texting your friends, those things need to occur after you're safe not while you're walking through the road."

ABC11 spoke to students at Middle Creek High School who said they do their best to ride the bus safely but admit it can be easy to get distracted.

"There's early hours in the morning and sometimes I'm extra tired and sometimes don't pay as much attention as I should," said senior Juan Banda.

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"Looking at my cell phone was definitely not the best decision I could have made," said Morgan Topol.

Captian Daryl Conley, of the State Highway Patrol, gave some advice to students in Apex Friday.

"When the bus arrives, wait for it to stop, the doors to open, and look at the bus driver to motion you across," said Conley. "Look both ways before you step onto the road."

Here are some tips for students:

  • Wait for the bus to stop
  • Look for the driver to motion before crossing the street
  • Look both ways before stepping onto the road
  • Don't be distracted

Banda said he'll keep those tips in mind the next time he rides the bus.

"Look at the bus driver then look both ways then look back and just be aware of my surroundings," he said.

Officials said drivers also need to be aware of the laws. For more information about bus safety can be found online.

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