Keeping Children Safe on the School Bus
Nationwide, millions of students begin their school day riding the school bus. School buses are one of the safest means of transportation and, as parents, you entrust that the lives of your children are being handled safely by the driver that transports them to and from school. Whether your child walks, takes the bus, or travels by car there are a number of rules and regulations that you and your child should recognize.
To ensure that your child understands bus safety, and for the safety of your child, here are some useful tips to follow on school bus safety:
What Students Should Do
- Go to the bus stop at least five minutes early to avoid missing your ride to school
- Stay off of the streets while waiting for the bus, and once the bus pulls up make sure to stay far back from it ‘ If you can reach out and touch the bus, you’re in the danger zone
- When lining up, line up so that you are facing the bus and not along side of it
- When on the bus, sit facing forwards and speak in a quiet voice to avoid distracting the bus driver
- When getting off of the bus, immediately get onto the sidewalk and out of traffic
- When crossing the street, wait for the bus driver to signal that it is OK to cross, and walk at least 12 steps away from the front of the bus, or enough to ensure that you are within the bus driver’s sight
- Remember, if you cannot see the bus driver, the bus driver· cannot see you
- Always listen to your bus driver and the rules he/she has implemented What Pedestrians, Bike Riders or Rollerbladers Should Do.
- Do NOT walk alone; always travel with a friend.
- To increase visibility, wear reflective or bright coloured clothing.
- Respect all street signs and traffic lights ·Always wear a helmet when rollerblading or riding a bicycle.
- Do not wear loose clothing, as this could pose a risk and cause tie-ups in spokes or pedals What Car Drivers and Passengers Should Do.
- All young children , and persons weighing under 80 lbs, must be in safety seats at all times ‘Make sure that the seats have been properly installed.
- Any children that are under the age of 13 years should be riding in the rear seat of vehicles.
- Choose safety over convenience-never stop or park in bus zones.
- Drop your child off on the school side of the street so they don’t have to cross the road.
- Watch for children when reversing.
- Many car accidents occur when beginner teen drivers are travelling to and from school. It is a good idea to control the number of passengers in your teen’s vehicle to avoid driver distraction, and DO NOT allow your teen to drive while walking on a cell phone or texting.
What Caregivers Should Do
- Have an emergency plan in place with your child so they know what to do if you are not at the stop waiting for them, if they get off at the wrong stop or if they get on the wrong bus.
- Know your child’s school, bus route letter or number and stop location Make sure your child gets to the bus stop safely.
- Place contact information in small children’s backpacks.