School Bus Safety
By Adrian Sparrow
School is coming back, and so are the iconic yellow buses. Before school starts, ensure you and your kids know traffic safety rules and appropriate bus conduct, from preschool to high school.
-Arrive at the bus stop 5 minutes early in the morning, or visit the stop before school starts if the kids will be going alone.
-Pick a safe spot away from the curb for your kids to wait for the bus and where you’ll pick them up.
-Remind children not to talk to strangers. Once they’re off the bus at the end of the day, have them come straight to you or home.
-Use caution around the bus and always be aware of your surroundings. Stay on the sidewalk until it’s time to board. Wait until the bus comes to a complete stop, the door opens, and the driver says it’s okay.
-When boarding the bus, hold onto the handrail. Make sure everyone has room to walk to their seat, and don’t leave anything in the aisle.
-Stay in your seat. Wear seat belts if the bus is equipped with them. Keep your head and limbs inside the bus- don’t stick them out the window.
-Talk quietly, and wait until you’re off the bus to eat or drink. Don’t yell or throw things that would distract the bus driver.
-Have your things ready before you arrive at your stop so you can quickly exit the bus.
-If you must cross the street, wait for the driver to signal that it’s safe, and always cross in front of the bus so they can see you. Watch for traffic and look in both directions before walking across.
-When you live near a school bus stop, pay close attention to children walking or cycling to school. Slowly back out of any blind spots, such as a garage or wooded driveway, until you see that you can exit safely.
-Slow down when nearing a bus stop. Be alert, and watch out for kids playing, walking in the street, or congregating at bus stops.
-Know and obey the school bus laws in your state and the bus’s light signal system: Yellow flashing lights mean the bus is preparing to stop and load or unload children. Red flashing lights and extended ‘stop’ arms mean the bus has stopped moving, and children are in the process of boarding. Motorists must stop and wait until the stop arms retract, the red lights stop flashing, and the bus starts moving. When you do start driving again, be wary of any kids who might be running late.