Hard to believe, but the middle of August has rolled around again, which means our schools (save for the moment, Clarke County) are back in session — which ultimately means those big yellow motorized contraptions are back on the road again.
You know them well, they boast big red lights and those arms that curl out near the driver’s side window, bearing a traditional red sign with the word “STOP.” And that is ever what the message means to convey: “When you see the light come on and the arm curl out, you motorists on both sides of a street without a median are ... meant ... to ... STOP!”
Precious cargo aboard, after all. This is a school bus.
Forgive us our smarmy playfulness, as we have been doing this editorial for years, so we’re always searching for a change in tone. This year: smarmy playfulness.
But really, the true message is the same every year. We, as motorists, must stop for school buses when the tell-tale signals are in evidence. Nothing could be that important or demand such speed that you would risk the life or even the well-being of a child.
What’s more, the penalty for committing such an offense — or rather the cornucopia of penalties — are steep: up to 12 months in jail, a fine as high as $2,500, court costs, driver’s license suspension for 60 days up to six months, and six DMV demerit points.
Ouch! And yet too often we see instances of cars passing stopped school buses. DON’T.