'Watch out for our children': Students, officials remind drivers of bus safety

It's that time of year. School buses are on the road and your kids' safety is at stake.

"I think it's really important that students should feel safe because a trip to school shouldn't be something that they worry about," said Carolyn Dreyer, a Panther Creek High School student.

Seven hundred and sixty bus drivers transport about 80,000 students to and from more than 17,000 bus stops throughout Wake County. One Wake County bus driver says he sees drivers break the rule five to six times a day.

"We just want everybody to make sure they pay attention to the school bus. It's very easy to distinguish. It's nice and yellow," said Erick Edwards, bus driver.

When a bus stops and puts out the stop arm, drivers behind the bus and in the opposite travel lane are expected to stop. If not, there could be harsh penalties.

"You're talking about hundreds of dollars and if they injure or kill a student, you're talking about felony charges," said Sgt. Chris Knox, NC State Highway Patrol.

That's why students, parents and school officials want you to slow down and remember the rules.

"When we're out on the roads, all that we ask is that you watch out for our children," said Jeff Mellen with the Wake County Public School System Transportation Department.

Each bus also has cameras installed - both inside to watch student behavior and outside for any driving incidents.
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