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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) -- As kids head back to school, school bus safety needs to be a priority.

Kimberly Friedman and Mike Simmons with the Arkansas Department of Education shared details on their bus safety campaign.

The Arkansas Department of Education school bus safety campaign begins August 11 and ends August 29.

· The campaign, B.U.S. (Be aware. U stay alert. So kids don't get hurt) Awareness, will seek to remind Arkansas motorists to obey all traffic laws whenever they are near a school bus. Drivers will also be reminded that it is illegal to pass a stopped school bus whenever its red lights are flashing and students are getting on or off the bus.

· This year marks the second year that ADE has worked to actively promote school bus safety prior to the beginning of the school year.

· The fines, penalties and punishment for anyone found guilty of illegally passing a stopped school bus were dramatically increased by Arkansas Act 2128 of 2005, also known as Isaac's Law.

· On average, a school bus is stopped to pick up or drop off students for about three minutes - 180 seconds. This is such a short amount of time, but it is enough time for a tragedy to occur.

· Everyone must do their part to keep our children safe.

· Parents can help by talking with their children about the safety rules for going to and from the bus stop, getting on and off the bus, and riding the bus.

· Motorists can also help by paying special attention to safe driving rules and obeying all traffic laws.

· Campaign materials, including a sample news release, sample letter to the editor and other materials, will be posted on the ADE website, www.arkansased.org.

This public awareness effort is sponsored by the ADE, Arkansas Association of Pupil Transportation, and concerned parents, educators and citizens throughout the state.

Plans call for special B.U.S. Awareness t-shirts to be provided to school bus drivers in Saline County and in northwest Arkansas.

In addition to the B.U.S. Awareness campaign, ADE will also work to promote school bus safety during Arkansas School Bus Safety Week, which will be observed October 20-24, 2014.

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