Flashing Red, Kids Ahead Campaign: School Zone And Bus Safety

ARKANSAS (KFSM)-- As students head back to school, you'll see more buses on the road, and a new statewide campaign is working to keep those kids safe.

"Flashing Red. Kids Ahead." is a statewide campaign lead by the Arkansas Department of Education. The goal is to remind drivers to stop when they see flashing red lights on a school bus.

In Arkansas approximately 7,000 buses carry around 350,000 kids to and from school and school-related activities on a daily basis.

Dana Samples, Springdale Public Schools transportation director, said school buses are the safest form of transportation for kids going to and from school.

"Where children are more at risk is when they're loading and off loading buses," Samples said. "That's when we have to be concerned about motorists and drivers who aren't paying attention."

In addition to promoting safety, the campaign is to remind drivers of the penalties they could face if they pass a stopped school bus. In 2005, Isaac's Law passed in Arkansas. It's named after a boy who was killed when a driver didn't stop when he was getting off the school bus to walk home.

A driver who illegally passes a school bus is guilty of a misdemeanor and could face jail time and lose their driver's license. If the driver hits and kills a person, the driver would then be charged with negligent homicide.

This is the fifth year for the "Flashing Red. Kids Ahead." campaign. Officials ask drivers to be patient, slow down and pay attention any time they approach a school zone or bus.

The speed limit in school zones is 20 mph, and it is against the law to talk on the phone in these school zones.