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Home > News > Notice to Motorists School Begins

September 9, 2009
CONTACT: Matt Dunlap (207) 626-8400

Motor Vehicle Officials Urge Motorists To Be Wary of School Buses and Student Bicyclists on the Roads as School Begins 

AUGUSTA, MAINE —Maine Secretary of State Matt Dunlap reminded motorists today to be especially vigilant while driving as the school year kicks into full gear. “Maine drivers do a great job sharing the road, but it's important to remember to build a few extra minutes into our work commutes and to keep a sharp eye out for youngsters darting across roads, stopping school buses, and especially young folks riding their bikes to school,” Dunlap said.

The school year brings additional traffic onto the roads in the morning and afternoon, and school children frequently ride their bicycles to school in the early part of the school year. “It's important for young cyclists to remember that they must obey the rules of the road, but an experienced driver knows to watch for students as they learn and apply those rules,” Dunlap continued.

“The fall is an exciting time to be outdoors, and with a new school year, sports, activities and everything else to occupy the attention of our youngest commuters, it's incumbent on everyone to pitch in to make sure they get to school and back safely,” said Dunlap.

Maine law requires motorists to yield the right of way to a pedestrian in a crosswalk, to stop at the signal of a crossing guard, and to stop for school buses loading or discharging students with flashing lights. Bicyclists also have the same rights of way that motorists do on the roads, and vehicles should yield whenever appropriate. Cyclists are obligated to signal turns, stop at stop signs and lights, and to properly yield at intersections. Along with young people on bikes, motorists should also be watchful for children on scooters, skateboards, rollerblades and other alternative conveyances.

“A moment's second glance can save a life,” Dunlap said. “It's worth taking that extra moment for everyone's safety.”