In less than a week, police in Cache County have responded to five traffic collisions involving school buses. In four of the crashes, authorities say other drivers failed to yield or stop for the buses.
Police say weather was a contributing factor in one crash, and in three others, drivers were issued citations for failure to yield. Law enforcement is reminding drivers to be extra cautious in fog and on slick roads. Cache County Sheriff’s Lt. Mike Peterson said being aware of the weather is vital.
“The biggest thing we're concerned with is the weather," he said. "I think we need to be conscious of the weather here in Cache Valley - the fog we get and slick road conditions. If we can do that it'll help out a lot."
Visibility in parts of Cache Valley can dip to less than a quarter of a mile in freezing fog. Peterson encourages drivers to watch carefully for the stop sign and lights that extend from school buses.
"When the lights turn yellow, they need to be prepared to stop," he added. "When the lights are red, they need to be stopped and allow the kids the opportunity to be crossing streets and be loaded and off-loaded onto buses."
Peterson shares these tips with drivers:
- Slow down.
- Watch for children playing and gathering near bus stops. They can come from all directions, especially if they are running late.
- Yellow flashing lights indicate that the bus is preparing to stop, load, or unload children. Motorists should slow down and prepare to stop.
- Red flashing lights and extended stop arms indicate that the bus has stopped, and that children are getting on or off. Motorists must STOP and WAIT until the red lights stop flashing, the extended stop sign is withdrawn, and the bus begins moving before they can start driving again.