SCHOOL BUS SAFETY FOR PARENTS, STUDENTS, AND MOTORISTS


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School Bus Safety For Parents

Parents teach your children the five rules for getting on and off the bus safely.

  • When loading, stay away from the danger zone (see Danger Zone Brochure in Transportation Documents) and wait for the driver's signal.
  • Board the bus in single file.
  • When unloading, look before stepping off the bus to be sure no cars are passing on the side of the road.  Move away from the side of the bus.
  • Before crossing the street, take five "giant steps" out from the front of the bus, or until the driver's face can be seen.  Wait for the driver to signal that it's safe to cross.
  • When crossing the street in front of the bus, look left-right-left when coming to the edge of the bus to make sure the traffice stopped.  Continue to watch for traffic when crossing.

Students Bus Safety for Students

  • Be at the bus stop at least 10 minutes before the bus is scheduled to arrive.
  • When the bus approaches, stand at least 3 giant steps (6 feet) away from the edge of the road, and line up away from the street.
  • Wait until the bus stops, the door opens, and the driver says that it is okay before stepping on the bus.
  • When crossing the street in front of the bus, walk on the sidewalk or side of the road to a point at least 5 giant steps (10 feet) ahead of the bus before you cross.  Be sure the bus driver can see you, and you can see the driver.
  • When exiting the bus, be careful that clothing with drawstrings and book bags with straps do not get caught in the handrail or door.
  • Never walk behind the bus.
  • Walk at least 3 giant steps away from the side of the bus any time you are walking beside the bus.
  • If you drop something near or under the bus, tell the bus driver.  Never try to pick it up.  The driver may not see you and begin to drive away.

School Bus Safety for Motorists

  • When driving in neighborhoods with school zones, watch for children traveling to school.  They are unpredictable in their actions, and it is your responsibility to anticipate and prepare to react to what they may do.
  • Drive slowly: Watch for children walking in the street, especially if there are no sidewalks in the neighborhood.
  • Watch for children playing and gathering near school bus stops.
  • Be alert.  Children arriving late for the bus may dart into the street without looking for traffic.
  • Learn and obey the school bus laws.
  • Learn the flashing light system that school bus drivers use to alert motorists about stopping.  See the Stop at Red Reminder under the Transportation documents link.
  • Yellow flashing lights means the bus is preparing to stop and load or unload children.  Motorist need to slow down and prepare to stop.
  • Red flashing lights and extended stop arm mean the bus has stopped and children are boarding or exiting the bus.  Motorists must come to a complete stop a safe distance from the bus, and wait until the red lights stop flashing, the stop arm is retracted, and the bus begins moving before they start driving again. 

School Bus Statistics

  • School buses are the safest form of transportation.  While catastrophic school bus crashes have occured, they are rare events.  Most school bus crashes are minor, and in most crashes involving passenger cars and light trucks, the school bus has the advantage of its larger size and weight.
  • There are about 450,000 public school buses that travel approximately 5 billion miles each year.  School buses carry around 24 million students to school and school related events. 
  • The fatality rate for school buses is only 0.2 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles (VMT) traveled compared to 1.5 fatalities per 100 million VMT for cars.
  • Over the past 11 years, school buses have annually averaged about 26,000 crashes resulting in 10 deaths - 25 percent were drivers; 75 percent were passengers.