School bus safety will be heavily enforced this year for all Harrison Hills City School District bus drivers and students.
The Sheriff's Department and School District have teamed up to enforce the school bus safety program. This program will be implemented by bus drivers, law enforcement, teachers and parents to ensure everyone has a safe school year.
"It's mostly up to parents to enforce (the program) in most of the kids. But the drives themselves to enforce it in the kids because the biggest thing and worst thing that we do not want to see is us going and knocking on someone's door because their child has been hurt or possibly killed because of not paying attention to what the bus driver told them," says Sheriff Joe Myers.
As a bus driver himself, Sheriff Myers says laws are always changing and bus drivers must know and enforce these laws. Drivers have been trained on anti-bullying techniques and hand signals.
Bus drivers have a lot of responsibility every school year. Not only must they look after 70 children, they must also act as a second parent once the child is off the bus.
"The best advice for children is to watch drivers for hand signals. They will be loading from both sides to be a little more safe," says Ed Kovacik, Director of Operations for Harrison Hills City School District.
Children must wait 10 feet away from the bus upon arrival. While on the bus, children must keep their feet on the floor, seat on the seat and back on the back.
Parents can get involved by checking that their children are reading the handbook given to them and going over the rules to see that their children understand that the bus driver has sole authority.
Big Yellow buses will start their routes Thursday morning when school starts for all students except for Kindergarten and Pre-K.