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As the summer break comes to an end, students across Southern Indiana are starting their return back to school.

With that return to the classroom, the Indiana State Police is reminding all motorists to be focused on traffic safety during the morning and afternoon commutes.

Drivers should be prepared for an increased amount of school bus traffic and children walking to and from their bus stops during the early morning and mid-afternoon hours.

Because of this, motorists are encouraged to plan ahead and give themselves extra travel time during these periods.

Troopers also encourage those driving by schools to pay attention to reduced school zone speed limits, and for school buses regularly stopping or standing to load or unload students. Children can be unpredictable and may dart in front of traffic unexpectedly.

When it comes to traffic laws, in Indiana, all drivers must follow the following rules:

-When approaching a school bus from any direction, which is stopped and has its red lights flashing and stop arm extended, motorists are required to STOP, even on multiple lane highways where there is no barrier or median separating lanes of traffic.

-Motorists on a highway that is divided by a barrier, such as a cable barrier, concrete wall, or grassy median, are required to stop only if they are traveling in the same direction as the school bus.

-Always be prepared to stop for a school bus and watch for children. Children are unpredictable. Not only is disregarding a school bus stop arm dangerous, it is a serious offense.

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