NewsLocal News


WATCH: Winnebago County child almost hit by driver while getting on school bus

During the winter months, it's important for drivers to give themselves time and distance to stop for school buses to avoid collisions.
Posted at 9:19 AM, Jan 13, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-13 10:19:11-05

WINNEBAGO COUNTY, Wis. — Last week, a child in Winnebago County was almost struck by a driver while getting on a school bus.

The child was stepping onto the bus when a driver rapidly approached the bus from the rear, swerved to the right, and narrowly avoided striking the child.

WATCH: Child almost hit by driver while getting on school bus. (Courtesy: Winnebago County Sheriff's Office)

Winnebago child narrowly avoids getting hit by car while getting on school bus

The Winnebago County Sheriff's Office has been able to identify and make contact with the driver.

This incident is a great example of the importance of safety around school buses, especially during the winter months when roads can be more dangerous due to weather.

It appears that the car may have swerved off the road due to driving too quickly during icy road conditions.

According to the Winnebago County Sheriff's Office, during adverse weather such as snow or rain, extra stopping time and distance as well as slowed speeds are important, not just during winter weather events, but around school buses too.

As a reminder, drivers need to stop on the street or highway at least 20 feet away from any school bus that has stopped and is flashing red warning lights.

Stopping at least 20 feet away applies to drivers approaching from the rear as well as from the opposing lanes of traffic, the sheriff's office said.

All lanes of traffic need to stop for school buses unless the school bus is on a highway that is divided by a center median.

Cars also must remain stopped until the bus begins moving and has turned off its red warning lights. Regardless of whether a school bus has an extended stop arm, vehicles must not pass a bus that has its red flashing lights on.

In some areas, school buses will signal with yellow lights. Drivers should watch school buses cautiously as the light color means different things.

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation's (DOT) National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) branch, yellow flashing lights mean you should slow down and get ready to stop your vehicle because the bus is getting ready to stop or let children on or off of the bus. Red flashing lights mean that you need to stop your car and wait until the bus begins moving again and the red lights stop flashing because the bus has stopped and children are getting on or off of the bus.

For more information regarding school bus safety, you can visit the NHTSA School Bus Safety website.