Drivers, students urged to pay attention as school starts up again

COLONIE, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Less than a week before kids head back to school, law enforcement officials are making transportation safety their top priority at the start of another busy school year.

In about a weeks time you’ll notice more buses, so motorists are advised to slow down.

Suzanne Tizzone has been a bus driver for the South Colonie School District for the last ten years. Her main goal is to get your kids to and from school safely.

“We tell the kids you wait till we give you a signal.”

That’s because Suzanne says everyone is in a hurry.

“They usually go through red lights and it’s scary because we have most precious cargo on our bus and for people to not care is really scary.”

According to the New York DMV, in 2014, there were more than 2,000 reported crashes involving a school vehicle reported by police.

On Wednesday, AAA Hudson Valley, along with State Police and the Albany County Sheriff’s Office is reminding drivers to take it slow.

“if you don’t have school children you may not realize,” AAA Spokesperson Nancy McMahon said. “Next week schools open and we all need to start driving more carefully.”

“You look at your phone for a split second, you might not see the kid crossing in front of you,” Sheriff Craig Apple said.

Sheriff Apple isn’t just worried about who’s behind the wheel.

“Kids need to know pay attention in general.”

His advice for parents, if your child has a phone make sure they aren’t using it while they are walking or biking to school.

“Absolutely look both ways. Be careful before going to school. Don’t risk a child’s life because you’re impatient.”

School starts after Labor Day in the Capitol Region.

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