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Assistance Requested Regarding Stopped School Buses

Over the last few years, there seems to have been an increase of incidents of vehicles passing school buses illegally. In order to address this concern, we are asking for your assistance to avoid this happening, and more importantly to avoid any students being harmed when they board or exit a school bus.

To assist other drivers, please be aware that it is illegal to pass a school bus when it is stopped on the roadway with the "8-way flashers" activated and the stop arm extended on the driver's side of the bus. The 8-way flasher system includes the red lights on the rear of the bus, and the yellow lights near the top of the bus on the front and rear of the bus.

Some drivers may not be aware that the "8-way flashers" are an indicator that the stop arm is going to be activated as soon as the bus is stopped and the main doors are opened. On some occasions, drivers have been passing a school bus when the 8-way flashers are activated but the stop arm has not yet been extended. Please be aware that the 8-way flashers are an indicator that the stop arm is about to be extended and therefore it is illegal to pass a school bus under these conditions.

The 8-way flashers and stop arm are the driver's means of communicating to other drivers that students are boarding and/or exiting the school bus. When this occurs, there is a possibility that a student may be crossing the street directly in front of the bus and may not be visible by a passing vehicle until it is too late.

In order to protect the safety of our students, Knoxville CUSD #202 bus drivers activate the 8-way flashing system in accordance with State Law in advance of the stop arm being extended to alert other drivers of this potentially dangerous situation. And in order to continue protecting our students, we will report any incidents of drivers passing school buses illegally. This is an action we would like to avoid, but it is the only course of action we can take to protect our students under these circumstances. The best advice we can give drivers is to not pass a school bus if the 8-way flashers are activated and/or the stop arm has been extended.

We appreciate your cooperation in this matter. Any questions can be directed to the Knoxville CUSD #202 Transportation Department at 289-4012.

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