DALLAS TOWNSHIP, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — It’s almost time for kids to head back to the bus stop, and back to class, which means drivers need to be on alert.

Back-to-school season means more school buses will be back out on the roads.

“When the red lights are on and the stop stick is out, you are to stop. When the yellow lights come on, that gives you a fair warning the red lights are to come on. You shouldn’t make a decision on whether to stop or not. The decision should be to stop.” school resource officer, Gina Kotowski, says.

A decision that could be a matter of life or death. It’s something Gina Kotowski sees every day as a school resource officer.

“You need to stop within 10 feet of that stop sign. Children step off the bus, sometimes they’re disoriented, they don’t know where they are going. Sometimes you can’t see a child. Some of these children are five years old, six years old. They’re looking for their parents, they’re getting off. They might not be at the right stop, they might not have gotten off at the right stop,” Kotowski explains.

She says when she is in a marked car, she doesn’t see many violations. But, when she’s off duty, she sees people not stopping for school buses too often.

“I absolutely wish we could be everywhere. I wish a marked police car could sit at every corner, at every stop. It’s just not possible,” Kotowski stated.

What can you do? Take a good look, and get the description of the car and driver along with a license plate number if you can.

“Call the police department. See how we can help. We can probably help you more than Facebook could so if you want the facts and information, we will be more than happy to file citations on behalf of these children,” Kotowski said.

An important lesson, protecting the children of NEPA.

Beginning August 29, Eyewitness News will have a special joint reporting project with the Times Leader called “Back to School” where we feature stories for parents, students, and teachers.