SPRINGDALE (KFSM) -- Monday was the first day of school for several schools across the area, which means drivers need to be aware of kids crossing the road to get to the school bus.
Springdale Public Schools Transportation Director Dana Samples said that the student's safety getting on and off the bus in the main priority. They follow the transportation department's slogan - Flashing red, Kids ahead.
"When you see a school bus with red lights flashing, you know that that bus is stopped and we’re about to pick up children or off load children for school. So slow down and be careful, and I cannot stress that enough," he said.
Bus driver Jim Meeks is a former school board member and has been driving a bus for the district for the past five years. He said drivers need to pay extra-close attention to the road, especially during the beginning of the school year.
"They’re very excited especially this time of year because it’s school starting and they’ve got a new backpack and new tennis shoes, so they don’t pay nearly enough attention to the road, to the other drivers so it’s up to us - school bus drivers and car drivers to pay very close attention to the warning signs and lights that we put on to tell them what we’re doing," he said.
Meeks said other than the responsibility of keeping kids safe, he loves getting to know and interact with them on a daily basis.
"Dealing with some of the things they say and do and tell me maybe their parents wouldn’t want to know all the things they tell me about what happens at home that’s really my favorite part working with the kids and dealing with them," he said.
Arkansas law does prohibit drivers from using a cell phone in a designated school zone when children are present.