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Parents and school bus drivers urge safety on the road as students return to school

Posted at 9:57 PM, Aug 16, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-16 23:16:59-04

SAND SPRINGS, OK (KJRH) — It's the time of year once again when those big yellow buses are sharing the road with commuters. Both parents and bus drivers say this is a chaotic time of year, between getting kids ready for school and making sure they get there safely.

Mother of two Melanie Bennefeld knows the back-to-school rush all too well. Her kids go to Union schools, and she sees them off every day.

"When you don't have the control, and they're not in your vehicle and you're not taking them to and from, you don't see everything happening around them - you're putting your child in someone else's hands," Bennefeld said. "It's just all chaos. Then when you jump in the car to go or go get them on the bus, everybody's always in that super-charged energy."

Bennefeld says when she watches the buses stop in her neighborhood, other drivers in a hurry will try to get around or be impatient, especially at the beginning of the school year.

Sand Springs school bus driver Tara McDonald says this is the most hectic time of year for her on the road. She is responsible for 71 excited students getting on her bus, and needs to keep an eye out for the cars around her.

"When you see red lights - you're not going to go through a red light. You see these lights? Don't go through the red light," McDonald said.

Experts have found most accidents between cars and school buses actually happen when the bus is going straight - not stopping or making a turn. So during this first week of school, bus drivers and parents ask you to stay off your phone, and be extra careful when those lights come on.

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