Riding the school bus is the safest way for students to get to and from school, the California Highway Patrol said during National School Bus Safety Week.
"For kids traveling to school, it's very safe for them in those school buses and it's safe because people follow the rules and do what they're supposed to do," said CHP Officer Jake Sanchez.
Students are about 70 times more likely to get to school safely when taking a bus instead of traveling by car, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
School buses are the most regulated vehicles on the road and are designed to be safer than passenger vehicles, Sanchez said.
He also stresses that it is a community effort that keeps San Diego County roads safe.
"When that bus stop happens in front of you, make sure you stop," Sanchez said. "Make sure you're aware so those kids can get to school safe."
California school buses have not had a passenger fatality since 1995, according to CHP.
In 2017 CHP began the "Vehicles Illegally Passing a School Bus" (VIPS) enforcement project. The project allows officers to ride on school buses and patrol bus routes, watch for vehicles that do not stop for flashing red school bus lights. The project also encourages people to report drivers who illegally pass a school bus.
"When you see that bus even if it's not indicating for you to stop, you still want to be extra cautious in case the child does something unexpected like run out into the roadway to catch their bus," said CHP Officer Jake Sanchez.