HOPEWELL — Each year, about 20 American children are killed while getting on or off a school bus.

With that in mind, Ontario County Public Health, the county sheriff’s office and county STOP-DWI program are reminding the public of the importance of following school bus safety laws.

“Prior to the start of the school year, parents should take a moment to remind their children to obey the instructions of the school bus driver when it comes to getting on and off the bus,” said Mary Beer, the county’s director of public health. “Additionally, kids need occasional reminders about how to behave on the ride to and from school. The likelihood of accidents increases when drivers are distracted for any reason, including boisterous students.”

State vehicle and traffic law states:

• When a school bus displays flashing red lights, all drivers approaching the bus from either direction must come to a full stop.

• Drivers must remain stopped until the flashing red lights are off and the bus resumes motion, or until signaled to do so by the bus driver or a police officer.

• Simply waiting for kids to board the bus is not sufficient. The flashing red lights must be off before vehicles can proceed.

• The law applies to country roads and city streets. It also includes four-lane roads with medians, such as Main Street in Canandaigua and North Main Street in Geneva.

“There are stiff penalties for passing a stopped school bus when the red lights are flashing. A first offense can result in a fine of up to $400 and five ‘points’ on your license,” Ontario County Sheriff Phil Povero said. “Even the largest fine, however, pales in comparison to injuring a child because of carelessness, impatience or distracted driving.”

Trending Food Videos

Recommended for you