On December 7, bus drivers across Wake County began to use mandatory hand signals to ensure the safety of students when they are outside of the bus.
The hand signals are as follows:
Open Palm: Students should stay where they are.
Thumbs Up: Driver has checked traffic, motorists are stopped and students should prepare to cross the street.
Point: Driver directs students to cross the street.
Students from Brier Creek Elementary, Douglas Magnet Elementary, and Pleasant Union Elementary collaborated with bus drivers to create a series of ten videos on the new hand signals. The videos will be shared with students in Wake County students to inform them about the new signals.
The new policy was approved by the Board of Education, after five children were injured by motorists passing stopped school buses this past year. With 3,000 vehicles illegally passing stopped school buses each day, the safety of the children is paramount. “ I think that communication between the driver and the kids is very important, because it ensures their safety,” said Riley Whitist, sophomore.
Previously, students only waited until the walk-arm fully deployed to walk across the street and board the bus. Now, students must wait until the walk-arm fully deploys and the doors open until it is safe that they can cross the street.
Wake County Public Schools urges motorists to be cautious and follow the rules. If a vehicle passes a stopped school bus, they risk the possibility of hitting a child, a $500 fine, and 5 points against the driver’s license.