Charleston, W.Va. - Several counties in West Virginia will introduce an extended stop sign on school buses in hopes of reducing illegal passing of buses and improving safety for students. The extended arm will include two stop signs: the typical stop sign which extends out two feet from the bus and a second stop sign which extends out six feet from the bus. Both stop signs will illuminate when the arm is extended and the bus is stopped.
“As we gear up for a new school year, it is important now more than ever for the public to be considerate of our students as they enter and exit school buses,” said state Superintendent of Schools Dr. Michael Martirano. “The safety of our students is a top priority and findings from this pilot program will help inform new safety measures that can be implemented to ensure our students are safe when traveling to and from school.”
Ten extended stop arms were donated to each of three counties in West Virginia by Bus Safety Solutions, Inc. for this pilot program. Kanawha, Cabell and Greenbrier counties will participate in the pilot program beginning August 24 through September 4, 2015.
Data and observations collected during the two-week pilot program will be compared to data collected last spring concerning the number of vehicles who illegally pass a stopped school bus. Statewide, 392 passing violations were recorded and in Kanawha County alone, 90 vehicles were recorded as illegally passing a school bus throughout the two week assessment in April 2015.
“The extended stop arm will give motorists more visibility and hopefully result in preventing violations and keeping students safer,” said Mike Pickens, Executive Director of the Office of School Transportation. “This pilot program will provide valuable information that will help us determine if we should equip all buses with the extended stop arm.”
For more information, contact Kristin Anderson at the West Virginia Department of Education Office of Communications at Kristin.Anderson@k12.wv.us or 304-558-2699.