Although autumn comes early in the High Country, there’s still plenty of summer left — but with it the need to be a bit more cautious as the seasons begin to merge and school buses will again appear on the road.

For more than two months, drivers have been able to largely defect the notion — and perhaps get complacent in — that school buses will be starting and stopping in the mission of ferrying their charges to and fro in all manners of unexpected ways.

While school buses remain among the most safe forms of transportation — to the tune of about 25 million children across the nation — it is ever incumbent upon drivers to take the initiative. Children being children, it’s important for drivers to:

• Look before you back out.

• Be on the watch when traveling through neighborhoods.

• Maintain alertness and vigilance while on the road.

• Follow the school bus rules — and especially those governing yellow and red flashing lights.

In a few weeks, such tips will become part of our driving habits. For now, remember caution is the watchword and the unexpected will be the most common expectation until new routines settle in.

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