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PennDOT, Partners Encourage Safety Ahead of National School Bus and Teen Driver Safety Weeks

Pittsburgh, PA – The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT), the Cindy Cohen School of Driving, and the W.L. Roenigk school bus company held a media event today encouraging both experienced and novice drivers to abide by school bus laws ahead of National School Bus Safety and Teen Driver Safety Week, both running next week.

“Law enforcement and school bus drivers see the school bus stopping law broken far too often, putting students and motorists at risk,” said PennDOT District 11 Safety Press Officer, Yasmeen Manyisha. “Whether an experienced or a novice driver, all motorists should familiarize themselves with this law for the safety of students riding the bus, as well as their own safety.”

National School Bus Safety Week highlights Pennsylvania’s School Bus Stopping Law, which states the traveling public must stop at least 10 feet away from school buses that have their red lights flashing and stop arm extended. Drivers may not proceed until all children have reached a place of safety. If physical barriers such as grassy medians, guide rails or concrete median barriers separate oncoming traffic from the school bus, motorists in the opposing lanes may proceed without stopping.

Law enforcement throughout the state remain vigilant in enforcing this law to keep students riding the school bus safe. Violators of Pennsylvania's School Bus Stopping Law will receive a $250 fine, five points on their driving record and a 60-day license suspension.

While many experienced drivers fail to abide by school bus stopping laws, the safety partners are focused on highlighting the laws to novice teens drivers during this year’s Teen Driver Safety Week. “As many teens gain their first driving experiences traveling to and from school, it’s especially important they know how to drive safely near school buses and in school zones,” said Manyisha. “By stressing these practices now, teen drivers will hopefully form the habits that carry on throughout their driving career.”

The School Bus Stopping law is one of many that teens should practice during National Teen Driver Safety Week, as the effort aims to raise awareness to the fact that vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death among 16-24-year-olds.

Teens are also reminded to always wear a seat belt, obey the speed limit and avoid distractions. Practicing safe behaviors like these will help shape young, novice drivers into safer and more perceptive motorists later. Driving is a big responsibility and with practice, comes improvement.

For schools or other groups interested in an in-person or virtual teen driver presentation, contact Yasmeen Manyisha at ymanyisha@pa.gov.

For more information, visit www.PennDOT.gov/safety.

PennDOT’s media center offers resources for safety organizations, community groups, or others who share safety information with their stakeholders. Social-media-sized graphics highlighting topics such as seat belts, impaired driving and distracted driving can be found online at www.PennDOT.gov in the “Media Center” under the “About Us” footer.

For regional updates, follow PennDOT on Twitter at www.twitter.com/511PAPittsburgh and join the Greater Pittsburgh Area PennDOT Facebook group at www.facebook.com/groups/pittsburghpenndot.

MEDIA CONTACT: Yasmeen Manyisha, 412-429-5044 or ymanyisha@pa.gov

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