STATE OF OHIO SCHOOL BUS LAW

Have you ever been unsure of when you are required to stop for a stopped school bus that is picking up or dropping off children? In spite of the fact that school buses are a frequent and highly visible presence on the streets and highways, many drivers do not understand the basic elements of the law regarding stopped school buses. If you fail to stop for a bus when required, you can receive a citation for the violation. Conversely, stopping in the roadway when not required can cause an accident because drivers with knowledge of the law will not be expecting your vehicle to stop. By taking a few minutes to learn the basic points of the law, you will be able to operate your vehicle confidently and legally.

If a school bus is stopped to pick up or drop off children on a street or road that has fewer than four lanes (3 lanes or less), all traffic traveling in either direction must stop. A vehicle approaching the bus from either direction must stop at least 10 feet away from the bus. The bus will not resume driving until the children have safely reached the side of the road that their residence is located on. All vehicles must stay stopped until the bus has starting moving again, or the bus driver signals for traffic to proceed.

If a school bus is stopped to pick up or drop off children on a street or road that has four or more lanes, only traffic traveling in the same direction as the bus must stop. Traffic traveling in the opposite direction does not have to stop. The bus driver must pick up or drop off children on their residence side of the roadway. The bus driver will activate the red flashing lights each time a bus is stopped to receive or drop off children.

School bus drivers must stop at every railroad crossing to look and listen for any approaching trains. The bus driver will activate the hazard lights (i.e. four way flashers) at all railroad crossings. The traffic traveling in the opposite direction does not have to stop for a school bus that is stopped at a railroad crossing. Traffic traveling in the same direction as the bus does not have to stop as long as that side is two or more lanes wide. Traffic traveling in the same direction as the bus must stop if it is operating in the only lane traveling in that direction.

If you fail to stop for a stopped school bus, the bus driver can report your license plate number and description of your vehicle to the local law enforcement agency, which will conduct an investigation and issue a citation for the violation. If you receive a citation you must appear in court, and you may receive a fine up to $500.00 and a maximum one-year license suspension.

Click HERE to view a visual guide of what to do when stopping for a school bus.

SAFETY TIPS

STRANGER DANGER – PARENT TIPS
Parents can take steps to reduce abductions of children. It is important to talk with them about these dangers and teach specific skills to handle them. We offer these practical suggestions for parents.

  • Do not leave your children alone in the car, yard, store or other public places. Know where your children are at all times.
  • Teach your children how to use the telephone. Make sure they know their address and phone number, including area code. Teach them about 911 and when they should use it.
  • If you must place your child’s name on their clothing and books, place it on the inside. An easily visible name tag could put an abductor on a first name basis with your child.
  • Choose a secret code word used by only you and your children. This can be used in case of emergency. Tell your child never to go with anyone who does not know the code word.
  • Impress upon your child that the police are their friends. If the child is in trouble, tell them that they may go to the police. Teach your children how to identify a police officer, or other people they may go to for help (firefighters, postal workers, security guards, store clerks, etc.).
  • Teach your child who is a stranger (anyone they don’t know). Strangers are “red light” people. A person remains a red light person until you have told your child they are OK.
  • Watch your child closely and ask your trusted friends and neighbors to do the same.
  • Fingerprint your child and keep their prints for identification purposes. Many police departments provide this service free of charge. Update your child’s physical description (such as height and weight), as they grow. Keep a current photo of your child with their fingerprints.

PERSONAL SAFETY TIPS

  • Be aware of your surroundings and the people present at all times.
  • Avoid going out alone, especially at night.
  • Avoid high-risk places (parking lots and parking garages, parks, trails, ANY secluded areas) when you are alone.
  • Carry a cell phone with you at all times.
  • Have your car keys out and ready as you approach you car.
  • Lock your car doors as soon as you get in.
  • Maintain a safe distance between yourself and strangers (a “reactionary gap” that allows you to avoid them getting their hands on you).
  • Be aware of avenues for escape.
  • Have a plan of action prepared. What would you do if a stranger approached you? What if they attacked you? What could you do? Allow for several variations, address several different situations.
  • Notice body language (the expression of intent projected through a person’s outward facial expressions and actions).
  • Potential attackers read body language. Don’t be an easy target.
  • Walk with purpose.
  • Project an air of confidence.
  • Make eye contact.
  • Again, be aware of who and what is around you at all times. Potential attackers often target people who are distracted, or unaware of their approach. The element of surprise is an attacker’s greatest ally, do not allow them that advantage.

CITIZEN ACADEMY

The Citizens Police Academy offers residents an opportunity to see how the Sylvania Township Police Department operates, and to experience what the working life of a police officer is like. The Citizens Police Academy also serves to establish rapport and understanding between the citizens of Sylvania Township and the police department that serves them.

The Sylvania Township Citizens Police Academy is designed to give members of the community an overview of the police department and its operations. Members of the Citizens Police Academy receive instruction and take part  in hands-on activities presented by Sylvania Township police officers.  Topics of instruction include: firearms, taser, patrol operations, criminal investigations, radar and laser, Special Response Team, and dispatch/communications, just to name a few.  Academy participants are also invited to ride-a-long with a Sylvania Township police officer during an actual tour of duty.

The Sylvania Township Citizens Police Academy is hosted once a year, starting the last week in February. Classes are held on eight consecutive Tuesday nights from 6:30 p.m. until 9:30 p.m. and meet at the Sylvania Township Police Department located at 4420 King Road. Class size is limited to 16 people. Additional applications are kept on file to fill any vacancies that may occur.

Applicants must be at least 21 years of age, live or work in Sylvania Township, complete a written application, and have a clean criminal history.

All applications meeting the above criteria will be considered. However, selection of participants is at the sole discretion of the Sylvania Township Police Department, which reserves the right to disqualify, or remove from participation, any person deemed not appropriate for, or disruptive to, the Citizens Police Academy.

Please contact Officer Dan Krajicek at 419-882-7878 with any questions.

YOUTH DIVERSION PROGRAM

SYLVANIA AREA FAMILY SERVICES OPERATES JUVENILE DIVERSION 

The Sylvania  Youth  Diversion  Program is a voluntary program offered to youth between the ages of 11 – 17 (18 if still in high school) who have committed a crime, but meet qualifications and have been referred to the program by the Lucas  County  Courts.
The Sylvania Youth Diversion Program, in conjunction with the Lucas  County Courts,  is an opportunity for first time youth offenders to choose an alternative to the juvenile court system. Both the youth and the parent must be interested in participating. Successful completion will result in no juvenile record of conviction.

After referral from the Lucas County Courts youth will be offered an opportunity to attend an intake meeting with the Youth Diversion Director. This meeting must be scheduled and will take approximately one hour.

Basic Rules of the Diversion Program: 

1. Restitution – if restitution is required the amount must be agreed upon at the time of acceptance.

2. Program cost- the cost of the program is $350.00. There are scholarships available to youths that show a need.

3. Curfew- there is a curfew with hours varying among junior high and high school students.

4. Grades- the youth must maintain passing grades of a “C” or higher in all classes.

5. Class attendance- each youth and parent must attend education classes once a week for 10 weeks, from 6pm-8:30pm.

SYLVANIA TOWNSHIP POLICE DEPARTMENT D.A.R.E. PROGRAM

The D.A.R.E. curriculum focuses on four major areas:

  • PROVIDING ACCURATE INFORMATION ABOUT ALCOHOL AND DRUGS
  • TEACHING STUDENTS DECISION MAKING SKILLS
  • SHOWING THEM HOW TO RESIST PEER PRESSURE
  • HELPING THEM DEVELOP ALTERNATIVES TO DRUG USE

D.A.R.E.  –  Drug  Abuse  Resistance  Education is a preventative program that was developed in Los Angeles. Uniformed officers are selected and trained to teach the D.A.R.E. lessons in schools. Their primary function is to instruct and show students how to develop the skills necessary to be able to resist the pressure to use drugs and alcohol.

In Sylvania Township, the D.A.R.E. principles are taught in the 5th grade.

We feel it is an important part of the educational process and has been a success!

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