By Jesse Sarles

DENVER (CBS4) – Now that students are back in session, police in Denver and other Colorado communities area stressing the importance of driving safely around school buses.

Police say it’s critically important for drivers to slow down and to not cut corners when a bus is nearby.

It’s illegal to pass a school bus that stops to load or unload children. If the yellow or red lights on the bus are on and the stop arm is extended, traffic must stop.

“Children are at school to learn, and their main focus is learning in school and then going home and enjoying the rest of their day,” said Officer Kurt Davis from the Denver Police Department. “We want to make sure that as adults we look at this and we provide a safe environment for them to commute to and from school.”

Parents can keep children safe at school bus stops by using the acronym SAFE.

S – Stay 5 steps away from the curb.
A – Always wait until the bus comes to a complete stop and the driver signals for you to come aboard.
F – Face forward after finding a seat.
E – Exit the bus after it stops and look in both directions for cars before crossing the street.

It’s also important for parents to make sure students show up at the stop at least 5 minutes before the bus is scheduled to arrive.

Jesse Sarles