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Watch That Child!

The biggest immediate concern for wood county schools is re-routing of bus routes near Blennerhassett Junior High School, with Corridor D Construction still under way. Traffic may increase; when nearby chemical plants let workers out in late afternoon.

“It's going to the amount of time our buses take. There's lots of connecting routes in the area, so it's going to be tricky for the first couple of weeks,” says Wood County Supt. Bill Niday.

For motorists, late August is an adjustment. Students are heading back to the classroom in large numbers, for the first time in more than two months.

“They just have to be aware of a child seeing a yellow bus approaching them, and they may not be paying attention like they should. They'll run to the bus, not looking at the flow of traffic. You need to be more alert, until you become accustomed to the bus stop again,” says Transportation Director Larry Edwards.

One thing to remember is about four-lane roadways. You have to stop for buses coming from the opposite direction, except when those roadways are divided by barriers such as median strips.

“Most of our four-lanes do have something to prevent children from running across in front of traffic. On Corridor D, they're putting in concrete pillars right now,” adds Edwards.

Wood County has had some close calls involving youngsters, school buses and motorists, but no fatal accidents in 40 years.

Here are some other things to remember regarding watching out for school-age youngsters.

  • State laws require drivers to stop when buses are loading and unloading students.
  • Parents should also instruct their children to stay off the roadway and avoid horseplay at the bus stop.
  • For kids walking to school, Parkersburg Police Chief Bob Newell reminds drivers to pay attention to crossing guards directing kids crossing city streets.


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