Bus Safety
 

For twenty-three million students nationwide, the school day begins and ends with a trip on a school bus. The greatest risk is not riding the bus, but approaching or leaving the bus. Before children go back to school or start school for the first time, it is essential that adults and children know traffic safety rules.

 

 Drivers

  • When backing out of a driveway or leaving a garage, watch out for children walking or bicycling to school.
  • When driving in neighborhoods with school zones, watch out for young people who may be thinking about getting to school, but may not be thinking of getting there safely.
  • Slow down. Watch for children walking in the street, especially if there are no sidewalks in the neighborhood.
  • Slow down. Watch for children playing and congregating near bus stops.
  • Be alert. Children arriving late for the bus may dart into the street with out looking for traffic.
  • Learn and obey the school bus laws in your state. Learn the "flashing signal light system" that school bus drivers use to alert motorists of pending actions:
     
    • Yellow flashing lights indicate that the bus is preparing to stop to load or unload children. Motorists should slow down and prepare to stop their vehicles.
    • Red flashing lights and extended stop arms indicate that the bus has stopped, and that children are getting on or off. Motorists must stop their cars and wait until the red lights stop flashing, the extended stop sign is withdrawn, and the bus begins moving before they can start driving again.
 

Children

  • Get to the bus stop at least five minutes before the bus is scheduled to arrive.
  • When the bus approaches, stand at least three giant steps (6 feet) away from the curb, and line up away from the street.
  • Wait until the bus stops, the door opens, and the driver says that it's okay before stepping onto the bus.
  • If you have to cross the street in front of the bus, walk on the sidewalk or along the side of the road to a point at least five giant steps (10 feet) ahead of the bus before you cross. Be sure that the bus driver can see you, and you can see the bus driver.
  • Use the handrails to avoids falls. When exiting the bus, be careful that clothing with drawstrings, and book bags with straps don't get caught in the handrails or doors.
  • Never walk behind the bus.
  • Walk at least three giant steps away from the side of the bus.
  • If you drop something near the bus, tell the bus driver. Never try to pick it up because the driver may not be able to see you.
 

 Parents

  • Teach children to follow these common sense practices to make school bus transportation safer.

     

    SAFETY STARTS AT HOME

    • Pack for school the night before to avoid rushing in the morning
    • Choose a backpack without long straps or strings and avoid scarves and clothing with straps or drawstrings.  These could get caught on bus handrails or doors when your child gets off the bus.
    • Make arrangements to bring in class projects that are too large to be carried on the bus.
    • Stress the importance of getting to the bus stop a few minutes early.  Tell your child to walk, not run.

    TEACH YOUR CHILD TO WAIT SAFELY

    • Teach your child never to stand in the road while waiting for the bus.
    • If possible, have your child stand at least 10 feet from the road while waiting.  
    • Remind your child to wait calmly and quietly for the bus to arrive, to respect private property, and to watch and listen for traffic.
    • Tell your child never to play games, run around, or push others while waiting.


    TEACH YOUR CHILD TO GET ON THE BUS SAFELY

    • Your child should never approach the bus until it comes to a complete stop.
    • Your child should watch the bus driver.  He or she will signal when it’s OK to get on.
    • If your child has to cross the street to board the bus, he or she must:
      • Make eye contact with the driver.  The bus driver should be able to see your child at all times.
      • Wait for the bus driver to signal that it’s safe to cross.
      • Watch and listen for cars.
      • Stay at least 10 feet away and cross in front of the bus.
    • Always stay out of the danger zone.

    TEACH YOUR CHILD TO RIDE SAFELY

    Teach your child to:

    · Keep the aisle clear – keep arms and legs, books, coats, and other items out of the aisle.

    · Keep hands off emergency exit latches, unless the bus driver says otherwise.

    · Keep all body parts inside the bus.  Never stick fingers, hands, arms, or head out a window, door, or emergency roof hatch.

    · Never throw objects inside or outside the bus.

    · Stay seated during the entire trip

    · Obey the driver at all times

    TEACH YOUR CHILD TO EXIT WITH CARE

    Teach your child to:

    • Gather belongings as the stop nears.  Don’t carry loose items.
    • Stay seated until the bus comes to a complete stop.
    • Walk in an orderly manner.  Go slow and stay in single file.  Use the handrail.  Make sure that backpacks and clothing do not get caught.
    • Look to the right before exiting the bus.  Make sure no other vehicle is trying to pass the bus on the right.
    • Never pick up a dropped item when exiting or boarding the bus.  Bending over may mean the bus driver can’t see you.  Tell the bus driver and follow his/her instructions.

    For more information and further assistance consult the School Bus Rider Handbook.

Transportation
Transportation Links
2017-2018 Bus Rider Handbooks
Bus Driver Training Schedule