The start of the school year is a good time to remind students, parents and all drivers about bus transportation safety. The reminders listed below are from the office of the State Board of Education:
School Bus Safety Reminders
With the beginning of the school year, the safe transportation of all students to school is a primary concern. Of particular importance is both student and motorist awareness of the potential dangers of getting on and off school buses. Most tragedies occur while students are waiting at assigned bus stops.
Most students injured or killed in bus-related crashes are 5- to 7-year-old pedestrians who are accidentally hit by the school bus or by motorists illegally passing a stopped bus. Drivers need to take special care in neighborhoods, near schools and bus stops. Always slow down near schools and be continuously cautious when students are present.
Key points for motorists to remember:
When a school bus is traveling on a two-lane roadway and is stopped to pick up or drop off students, the vehicles in all lanes of traffic must stop. Vehicles should stop at least 20 feet before reaching the school bus to allow students to cross the roadway safely.
When a school bus is traveling on a four-lane roadway with at least two lanes of traffic traveling in the opposite direction, only those lanes of traffic traveling in the same direction as the school bus must stop.
When a school bus is traveling on a one-way roadway and is stopped to pick up or drop off students, all lanes of traffic must stop, regardless of the number of lanes of traffic.
Parents and school bus personnel should discuss the following tips with children:
- Be on time at the designated school bus stop.
- Stay off the road at all times while waiting for the bus.
- Be careful in approaching the place where the bus stops. Do not move toward the bus until the bus has been brought to a complete stop.
- Do not leave your seat while the bus is in motion.
- Be alert to a danger signal from the driver.
- Remain in the bus in the event of a road emergency until instructions are given by the driver.
- Keep hands and head inside the bus at all times after entering and until leaving the bus. Do not throw anything out the bus windows.
- Remember that loud talking and laughing or unnecessary confusion divert the driver’s attention and could result in a serious accident.
- Be absolutely quiet when approaching and crossing railroad crossings.
- Treat bus equipment as you would furniture in your own home. Never tamper with the bus or any of its equipment.
- Assist in keeping the bus safe and sanitary at all times. Avoid bringing food, drink or animals on the bus.
- Keep laptops, books, packages, coats, and all other objects out of the aisles and away from emergency exits. These items should be placed under the school bus seat while in transit.
- Be courteous to fellow students and the bus driver. To earn respect, you must first show respect.
- Help look after the safety and comfort of smaller children. Keeping distractions to a minimum will help the bus driver ensure your safety.
- Do not ask the driver to stop at places other than the regular bus stop. He or she is not permitted to do this except by proper authorization from a school official.
- Observe safety precautions at exit points. Know and observe the rules. When it is necessary to cross the highway, proceed to a point at least 10 feet in front of the bus on the right shoulder of the highway where traffic may be observed in both directions. Wait for the signal from the school bus driver permitting you to cross.
- Observe the same rules and regulations on other trips under school sponsorship as you observe between home and school. Respect the wishes of the chaperone appointed by the school.
Knowing and following these tips will make each bus trip safer and more enjoyable for everyone involved.