School bus

The Louisiana State Police wants to remind drivers to be cautious now that school buses are on area roads again.

State Police issued a release earlier this week reminding drivers to be mindful of the start of school around the state, while also giving a bit of a refresher on school bus laws, school zone speed limits and other school-related issues pertaining to the roads.

State Police stressed that school buses are designed to be the safest vehicles on the road, but the greatest risk to buses is the loading and unloading of kids at bus stops.

All motorists are reminded to stop no less than 30 feet from a school bus when the bus' stop signals are activated.

A vehicle approaching a stopped school bus from the opposite direction does not have to stop when traffic is separated by a divided median, but must remain cautious of the children boarding or exiting the bus.

Additionally, motorists are encouraged to remember that:

•School zones are generally in effect on school days, Monday through Friday, from 7:00am - 9:00am in the morning and from 2:00pm - 4:00pm in the afternoon. These times may vary depending on location.

•Louisiana Law states that no person shall operate any wireless communication device while operating a motor vehicle during the posted hours within a school zone. School zones across Louisiana are hands-free zones, so put that cell phone down while driving

• School crossing guards have the authority to direct vehicles through intersections when traffic lights are red and to stop vehicles when the traffic lights are green. Motorists who are approaching school zones are urged to pay attention to the school crossing guards for hand instructions.

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