As School Starts, Lets Remember School Bus Safety

With the start of the new school year, many students rely on school buses to get them to and from school safely. More children and vehicles on the roads make this time of year particularly dangerous.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, students are 70 times more likely to get to school safely when taking a school bus instead of traveling by car. Most school bus related fatalities occur outside the school bus when children get on and off the bus. According to research by the National Safety Council, most children who lose their lives in bus-related incidents are 4 to 7 years old and walking when they are hit. Help your children be careful by following a few safety tips.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the New York State Education Department (NYSED) recommend that motorists and children follow these safety tips:

  • Safety starts at the bus stop: Your child should arrive at the bus stop at least five minutes before the bus is scheduled to arrive. Show your child where to wait for the bus: at least three giant steps (six feet) away from the curb. Remind your child that the bus stop is not a place to run or play.
  • Get on and off safely: When the school bus arrives, your child should wait until the bus comes to a complete stop, the door opens, and the driver says it is okay before approaching the bus door. Your child should use the handrails to avoid falling.
  • Use caution around the bus: Your child should never walk or cross the street behind a school bus. If your child must cross the road to get to the bus, tell them to walk on a sidewalk or along the side of the street, at least five giant steps (10 feet) in front of the bus before crossing. Your child should also make eye contact with the bus driver before crossing to make sure the driver can see them. If your child drops something near the school bus, like a ball or book, the safest thing is for your child to tell the bus driver right away. Your child should not try to pick up the item because the driver might not be able to see them.
  • Practice safe driving in school zones: Always stop for school buses that are loading or unloading children. When driving in a school zone, never pass other vehicles, obey the posted school zone speed, obey the “flashing signal light system” that school bus drivers use to alert motorists of pending actions, and follow any signals given by crossing guards.

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