A pair of accidents in Johnstown last week serve as a reminder to motorists to be on high alert and drive with caution around school buses.
On May 7, two Greater Johnstown School District students received minor injuries when the bus they were riding in was struck in the side by a vehicle at the corner of Franklin and Vine streets. The bus was transporting 38 students home after classes that day.
City police said the driver of the vehicle was Greg Jones, of Johnstown, who called 911 about the crash and then drove to the high school to meet with a school resource officer.
On Friday, a bus carrying students home got rear-ended at the intersection of Jacoby Street and Purse Avenue, police said.
There were no injuries in that crash.
The motorist was taken to the hospital for a blood test and is expected to be charged with DUI, police said.
According to PennDOT:
• Motorists must stop at least 10 feet away from school buses that have red lights flashing and stop arms extended.
• Motorists must stop when they are behind buses, meeting buses or approaching intersections where buses are stopped.
• Motorists following or traveling alongside school buses must also stop until the red lights have stopped flashing, stop arms are withdrawn and all children are safe.
• If physical barriers such as grassy medians, guide rails or concrete median barriers separate oncoming traffic from a bus, motorists in the opposing lanes may proceed without stopping.
• Do not proceed until all the children have reached a place of safety.
If convicted, motorists may face $250 fines, receive five points on their driving records, and a 60-day license suspensions.
School buses are regarded as the safest way for students to travel, but motorists must do their part.