At the beginning of the school year, we are reminded school is back in session and motorists should take heed and be aware our children are in cross walks and at bus stops. It’s a reminder that should echo throughout the school year, especially when one pauses to consider that each year, within the US, thousands of fatalities occur involving school buses. An interesting fact, school buses are the single largest form of transportation in the United States.
Sadly, since 1990, 1,450 people have died in school bus accidents. Of these deaths, 67 percent were in other cars and vehicles while another 25 percent were cyclists or pedestrians Do the math, that’s about 27 children killed annually–seven children are passengers on the bus and the other 20 are pedestrians.
Accidents increase in the afternoon when children are getting off the bus.
Let’s do our part to make our roads and buses safe for our children.
- Walk on the sidewalk to the bus stop, never run. If there is no sidewalk, walk on the left facing traffic.
- Leave home on time so you can reach your destination on time, without rushing
- Wait quietly at the bus stop, in a safe place, well away from the road while waiting for the bus
- Running games or pushing and shoving should not take place at the bus stop
- Do not run alongside the bus when the bus is moving. Wait until the bus comes to a complete stop; then walk to the door and board the bus
- If you live on the opposite side of the road from a bus stop, wait on your side of the road until the bus arrives. Watch for the red flashing lights and stop arm to be extended. Cross only when all traffic has stopped. Look left and right and left again before crossing.
- Remain 10 steps away from the bus where the driver can see you.
- Allow younger children in front and hold the hand rail while entering and exiting the bus
- Go directly to a seat and remain seated, face-forward during the entire ride.
- Obey the driver’s instructions
- Always speak quietly so the driver will not be distracted
- Be silent when a bus comes to a railroad crossing, so the driver can hear if a train is coming
- Never throw things on the bus or out the windows. Keep aisles clear and feet directly in front of you and on the floor.
- Do not tamper with the emergency exits, fire extinguisher or other equipment
- Large instruments or sports equipment should not block the aisle or emergency exits.
- In the event of an emergency listen to the driver and follow directions
- Do not extend arms, legs or head out of the bus
- Do not mar or deface the bus
- Keep the bus clean
- Passengers are permitted to leave the bus only at the regular, designated stop. Any change must be made with the parent/guardian’s request in writing and be approved with the signature of the school principal
- If a student lives on the opposite side of the road from the bus top, the student should go to the front of the bus and wait until the bus driver gives the signal to cross the road. Never cross the road in the rear of a stopped school bus
- If you leave something on the bus, never return to the bus to get it, the driver may not see you and begin moving the bus.
- Make sure that drawstring and other loose objects are secure before getting off the bus so that they do not get caught on the handrail or the door
- If you drop something near the bus, tell the bus driver before you attempt to pick it up, so they will know where you are
- Never speak to strangers at the bus stop and never get into the car with a stranger. Always go straight home and tell your parents, the bus driver and the principal if a stranger tries to talk to you or pick you up.