"Slow down:" When the school buses roll, motorists everywhere urged to drive safe

MILWAUKEE -- Thousands of students will hop on buses and cross streets when school begins on Tuesday, September 1st. Just as students get back into their school routines, drivers everywhere need to get back into their safe-driving routines too.

Charles Fells

For the past two years, Charles Fells has been a school crossing guard -- and he's looking forward to the start of the school year.

"They are glad to see me come," said Fells.

While students and parents are glad to see him helping protect kids, safety specialist senior Lishunda Patterson says drivers need to do their part when it comes to pedestrian safety.

"We try to alert drivers to drive more cautiously and drive at least 15 mph in any school zone area unless otherwise posted," said Patterson.

While there will be about 200 crossing guards out assisting, students are encouraged to be prudent.

"We try to encourage all the students under the age of 11 to always walk with someone older," said Patterson. "Stop at the corner look right and left then cross the school cautiously."

School buses

Meanwhile, drivers are also urged to be watchful of buses as well.

"We ask that driver once you see those flashing lights on the back of buses or if you see the arm out for drivers to stop. we never know if kids are trying to cross  in front of the bus or trying to get on the bus," said Patterson.

For Fells, the main challenge is distracted drivers.

"Mostly because they are on the cell phones and texting," said Fells.

Fells' advice -- give yourself extra travel time, keep your eyes on the road, and...

"Slow down, slow down," said Fells.

Pedestrian crossing

To make sure the traffic and crossing rules and laws are enforced, a few dozen officers have been assigned to go back on school detail.

The following bus companies service MPS.  You may contact any of the following bus companies directly.

Dairyland Bus 414-963-8770
Durham School Bus 414-760-7480
First Student-North 414-353-1027
First Student-West 414-649-2620
Johnson School Bus 262-251-4230
Lakeside-North 414-536-2040
Lakeside-South 414-744-7019
Lamers Bus Lines 414-282-3566
Milw. County Transit 414-344-6711
Riteway Bus-North 414-438-5400
Riteway Bus-South  414-571-9001
Specialized Care 414-383-7333
Transit Express 414-264-7433
Wisconsin Central 414-481-1000