School bus safety tips
School buses are the largest mass transit program in the U.S. With more than 450,000 in the program, buses transport 24 million students every school day. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that students are eight times safer riding a school bus than in a car with a parent or guardian. Yet, a majority of the accidents involving school buses occur when students are getting on or off the bus, so it is important to know the safety tips when the bus pulls up.
- While waiting for the bus, students should stay off the road and away from traffic.
- Before approaching the bus, wait until it has completely stopped and the door has opened.
- Those who have to cross in front of the bus to board should keep eye contact with the bus driver and always walk in front of the bus, never behind.
- Use the handrail when stepping onto the bus.
- After boarding, quickly find a seat and sit down to minimize distractions for the driver.
- When the bus pulls up, wait until it has stopped completely before standing.
- After exiting the bus, take at least three steps away to clear the bus as it drives away.
- When crossing in front of the bus, the driver must be able to see the students.
- Only get off at the designated stop. Students must have a note from a parent or guardian if they are getting off at any other stop.
- When yellow lights are flashing on a bus, it is warning motorists the bus is about to stop.
- Motorists must stop a minimum of 20 feet from the bus bumper.
- Be educated and up to date on the rules and safety concerns surrounding school buses. Frequently review safety tips with children.
- Get to know the bus driver and keep phone numbers handy in case of a delay or emergency
· Never go near the rear wheels of the bus.
· Never turn back to get something left on the bus as the driver may not see the student before pulling away.
· Never try to retrieve something dropped unless the bus driver is notified first.
· If the bus stop arm is extended with red lights flashing, all motorists on the roadway must stop. In the case of a road that is divided by a median or barrier, only cars traveling the same direction as the bus must stop.
· Be alert for children. They can be unpredictable and are often comfortable with their surroundings when exiting the bus, making them more susceptible to risks and carelessness.
Tips for parents
· Know and enlist other parents and help each other monitor bus stops and routes and don't hesitate to take any concerns to the school district.