Roughly twenty-three million students ride the bus to and/or from school during any given school year- and that number is expected to rise. If your child is one of those school bus riders, or if you come across school buses often on your travels, you should discuss safety tips with them. You should also know the safety rules associated with school buses. These tips could help prevent injury and possibly even save lives.
School Bus Safety For Drivers:
-Slow down and watch for kids. It may sound obvious, but it’s easy to forget over the summer & be caught by surprise when school starts again. Children aren’t always alert, but you can be.
– Keep these flashing light codes in mind:
- When a bus driver flashes yellow lights, they are telling you the bus is preparing to stop to load or unload children. Be ready to stop!
- Red flashing lights, with the extended arm, mean the bus has stopped and children are loading or unloading. You must bring your vehicle to a complete stop until the bus starts moving again, even if you are in another lane or on the opposite side of the road.
– Don’t tailgate any vehicle, but especially not a school bus, they may stop suddenly.
School Bus Safety for Parents & Children:
Teach your kids the following tips and practice at least two weeks before school starts, so you know they understand these safety rules.
- Always get to the bus stop at least five minutes early. If you are late, you are more likely to run and maybe have a fall or run across the road without looking.
- Stand at least 4 feet back from the curb to give the bus enough room. If there is no curb where you catch the bus, mark out a line where the bus normally stops and stand well behind that.
- If you are waiting with other kids at the stop, line up. Don’t push or shove each other and don’t play physical games while you are waiting.
- Wait until the bus completely stops and opens its door before stepping off the curb. You never know exactly where the bus will come to a complete stop and the driver cannot always see people by the curb when they have pulled over.
- Follow all crossing guard directions and use crosswalks where they are available. Do not cross too close to the front of the bus. The driver needs to see you as you cross.
- Do not cross behind the bus. Drivers coming in the opposite direction will not see you until you are in their lane & they will not have time to stop.
- If you have to walk in the road beside the bus, give yourself at least six feet of room between you and the bus. Practice at home by marking out six feet, so you know how far that is.
- Do not bend down to pick up things you may have dropped in front of the bus. The driver may not see you. Let the driver know you have dropped something & ask them to wait while you pick it up.
This is a great reminder for both motorists and parents and children with school back in after the Christmas break here in Canada.