COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – Ohio motorists will soon be able to see school buses more clearly.

The Ohio State Highway Patrol announced that every school bus in the state will receive highly reflective “STOP” decals to make buses more visible and safer for the approximately 1.6 million students who ride in them.

OSHP partnered with the Ohio Department of Transportation and the Ohio Department of Education to create the decals for the nearly 20,000 school buses in the state. The decals are being printed by the ODOT’s sign shop at no cost and should be made available in the next few months.

“This simple step to make Ohio’s school buses more visible will make a big difference to prevent rear-end crashes and protect both our kids and other motorists,” Gov. Mike DeWine said.

According to the OSHP report, there have been 6,519 school bus-related crashes since 2017. Of these crashes, 1,421 involved a driver following too close and 712 involved a driver failing to yield.

Nine school districts, including Columbus City Schools and Dublin City Schools, participated in outfitting school buses with the new decals on a trial basis. The districts overwhelmingly responded favorably to the new decals, stating that they were more effective than the standard, nonreflective STOP decals and that they would improve school bus safety during dusk and dawn conditions and in the rain.

The other participating districts were Centerville, Chagrin Falls Exempted Village, Green Local, Hubert Heights, Marysville Exempted Village, Massillon and Union-Scioto Local.