Big Island police remind motorists to drive safely near school buses

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Big Island police are reminding motorists to drive safely when approaching school bus stops and be considerate of other motorists.

Courtesy of the Hawai‘i Police Department

The reminder comes in response to feedback received at community events. Police know these areas have a high number of young pedestrians that interact with vehicle traffic and want to ensure everyone is safe.

Help make school bus transportation safer for everyone by following the following practices:

  • When dropping off your child at school, if you plan to remain with your vehicle, park off the roadway and do not block traffic while parked near bus stops within residential subdivisions.
  • When backing out of a driveway or leaving a garage, watch out for children walking or bicycling to school.
  • If driving in neighborhoods with school zones, slow down and be alert.
  • Be mindful of children playing and congregating near bus stops.

Drivers also are reminded to obey the “flashing signal light system” that school bus drivers use to alert motorists of pending actions.


Yellow flashing lights indicate the bus is preparing to stop to load or unload children. Motorists should slow down and prepare to stop their vehicles.

Red flashing lights and extended stop arms indicate a bus is stopped and children are getting on or off. Motorists must stop their cars and wait until the red lights stop flashing, the extended stop sign is withdrawn and the bus begins moving before they start driving again.

Making sure children are safe in and around the school bus is a major priority. The following list is an important reminder for parents and students of all ages about safe bus behaviors:

  • Get to the bus stop at least 5 minutes before the bus is scheduled to arrive.
  • When the bus approaches, stand at least three giant steps, or 6 feet, away from the curb and line up away from the street.
  • Students should wait until the bus stops, the door opens and the driver says it’s OK before stepping onto the bus.
  • If you have to cross the street in front of the bus, walk on the sidewalk or along the side of the road to a point at least five giant steps, or 10 feet, ahead of the bus before you cross. Be sure the bus driver can see you and you can see the bus driver.

Parents should discuss safety tips with their children and model road safety behaviors for them, including always wearing your seat belt and following all the rules of the road every time you drive, ride or walk.

Everyone has a role to play in keeping keiki safe. Let’s work together, drive with aloha and slow down when approaching school zones.

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