A new school year is upon us once again and, with these traffic safety reminders, we hope to increase awareness for both drivers and pedestrians.

We have already received several complaints since school began about drivers not stopping for pedestrians in crosswalks.

New crosswalks have been constructed with large yellow signs and lights that flash when a pedestrian needs to cross the street. Pedestrians have the right of way at these crosswalks, and drivers are required to stop.

It is important that children be aware not all drivers will stop for a school bus that is loading and unloading even when it is required by law to do so. This is a common complaint we hear throughout the school year.

Some drivers intentionally break the law, but others might be unaware when they are required to stop and when they're not.

The Ohio Revised Code section 4511.75 requires all drivers to stop 10 feet from the front or rear of a school bus that is stopped for the purpose of loading and unloading children.

The exception to this is when the road is divided into four lanes, such as Diley Road. In those scenarios drivers approaching a school bus from the opposite direction are not required to stop. All drivers behind a school bus on a four-lane road are required to stop.

Drivers are not to proceed until the bus moves forward, or they've been signaled by the bus driver.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration suggests several safety rules children need to know when getting on and off a school bus.

While waiting for the bus, children should stay away from traffic and avoid behavior or play that might cause them to stray onto the roadway.

Before attempting to board the bus, children should wait until the bus comes to a complete stop and the door opens.

When exiting the bus, children who have to cross the street should walk at least 10 feet ahead of the bus until they can see the bus driver. Children should never walk behind a school bus. Before crossing the street, children should wait for a signal from the bus driver and "look left, then right, then left again" before crossing.

If a child drops an item near the bus, he or she should alert the bus driver before attempting to retrieve the item.

To learn more tips, please visit our Facebook page and view Sgt. Abe Haroon's video regarding school bus safety and rules of the road for drivers.

The Protect & Serve column was submitted by the communication technicians at the Pickerington Police Department.