School Bus Safety

School Bus Safety

Avoid Harm, Obey The Stop Arm”

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 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 without looking for traffic.
  • Learn and obey the school bus laws. 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 lightsand 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 Motorists must stop their cars and wait until the red lights stop flashing, the extended stop sign is withdrawn, and the bus begins moving before they can start driving again.

ยง Vehicles traveling in the same direction as the bus are always required to stop. In New Mexico and Texas, vehicles moving in the opposite direction on a divided roadway are also required to stop.

  • Never pass on the right side of the bus, where children enter or exit. This is illegal and can have tragic results!

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 avoid 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.

TEACH YOUR CHILD TO GET ON AND OFF THE BUS SAFELY:

  • When getting on the bus, stay away from the danger zone and wait for the driver’s signal. Board the bus one at a time.
  • When getting off the bus, look before stepping off the bus to be sure no cars are passing on the shoulder (side of the road). Move away from the bus.
  • Before crossing the street, take five “giant steps” out from the front of the bus, or until the driver’s face can be seen (A). Wait for the driver to signal that it’s safe to cross.
  • Look left-right-left when coming to the edge of the bus to make sure traffic is stopped. Keep watching traffic when crossing.

SAFETY STEPS YOU CAN TAKE:

  • Supervise children to make sure they get to the stop on time, wait far away from the road, and avoid rough play.
  • Teach your child to ask the driver for help if he/she drops something near the bus. If a child bends down to pick up something, the driver cannot see him/her and the child may be hit by the bus. Have your child use a backpack or book bag to keep loose items together.
  • Make sure clothing and backpacks have no loose drawstrings or long straps, to get caught in the handrail or bus door.
  • Encourage safe school bus loading and unloading.
  • If you think a bus stop is in a dangerous place, talk with your school office or transportation director about changing the location.

Please help keep our kids safe this upcoming school year and obey the school bus safety laws, raise school bus safety awareness and watch out for kids.

Violation of these school bus safety laws can result in a citations and fines. School bus drivers can report passing vehicles and their license plate numbers.

For more information, contact the DOT Auto Safety Hotline at 1-888-DASH-2-DOT(1-888-327-4236) or www.nhtsa.dot.gov

Information provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and NSC.

Today’s post comes to us courtesy of Ken Oswald