POWELL, Ohio (WCMH)– Kids head back to school all over central Ohio this week and safety is top of mind at the second-largest district in the region: Olentangy Local.

Olentangy Local is unique in the sense that there are vast rural, urban, and suburban neighborhoods that make up the landscape of the Delaware County district. This presents a challenge to drivers as far as navigating the diversity of school zones and buses out on the roads.

One thing that is certain though, no matter the landscape, if you illegally pass a bus in Delaware County, the sheriff’s office will ticket and summon you to court.

“You will either receive the ticket and the court date in the mail, or we will meet you at your house after work with the ticket, so you don’t want to pass a bus. Even if you think you’re getting away with it you’re not,” said deputy sheriff Sgt. Mike Scalley.

Scalley oversees the school districts and resource officers in the district.

He says all buses in the district are equipped with cameras that read license plates. That is one way DCSO is helping keep kids safe as they head back to school this week, in addition to increased patrols around schools during arrival and dismissal.

“We have zero tolerance for running a bus sign and know that we do enforce our school zones very heavily,” he added.

When you see yellow flashing lights on a bus, that means it’s coming to a stop soon, so slow down. When the lights are red flashing: stop if you are behind the bus or approaching it on a two-lane road.
For a four-lane road, traffic going in the opposite direction of the bus does not need to stop. A child will never have to cross a four-lane road to get on or off a bus.

Also, pack your patience.

“Understand that there will be more foot traffic, bike traffic as well as students coming into the school — which traffic may be stopped for that,” Scalley said. “You have to allow for the time. I know people get frustrated especially on country roads when they get behind a bus and it stops every 20 feet [but] you just have to be patient.”