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Return to school means lesson in safety on local roads - abc27 WHTM

Return to school means lesson in safety on local roads

Posted: Updated:
HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) -

It's the first day of school for many midstate students and that means a yearly lesson in safety from PennDOT.

PennDOT warns that drivers could face harsh penalties and fines for violating the state's school bus stopping law.

"As students return to the classroom, drivers who haven't had to drive around buses or students for months must be alert for bus stops and school zones," PennDOT Secretary Barry Schoch said. "The consequences of just a moment of distraction could prove to be tragic."

PennDOT explains drivers in any direction must stop at least 10 feet away from a stopped school bus on the road. School buses are required to use a stop arm extension and red flashing lights to alert motorists. PennDOT said the only exception is if the roadway is clearly divided by a concrete or grass median.

If convicted, violators could face a $250 fine, five points on their driving record and a 60-day license suspension.

PennDOT also reminds drivers to be alert in pedestrian crosswalks and obey speed limits in school zones. Most schools zone speed limits are a posted 15 miles per hour. Violators could face fines and points against their driving record.

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