With classes underway in many schools across Missouri, the State Highway Patrol reminds motorists to watch for students. Patrol Lieutenant Paul Reinsch says drivers must stay alert when they see a stopped school bus.

Missouri_Highway_Patrol“It’s not only those school buses but it’s the drivers around them that we’re asking to be extremely cautious, because these children are excited they’re going back to school and they’re going to be eager to get out there and they’re going to make some mistakes. So we just ask the drivers to be careful,” Reinsch says.

Reinsch says that in 2015, most traffic crashes involving drivers under the age of 21 happened between 3 and 4 pm when school typically ends. The Patrol reminds you to pay attention around buses and in school zones.

“One of the most dangerous times is when they get out of school and they’re unloading those school buses. They’re very excited to get home, they see maybe parents waiting for them, maybe a dog comes running up to them, then the wind catches some paperwork, anything could cause that child to run out into traffic,” Reinsch says.

Reinsch says that in 2015, one person died and 376 others were injured in school bus crashes in Missouri. He encourages parents to speak to their children about riding a bus, walking or driving to school in a safe manner.

Reinsch says driving is a full-time job and reminds motorists that texting while driving is against the law for anyone under the age of 22.