23 million students take the bus to and from school each day. [tweet_box design=”box_11″]Research shows that a school bus is the safest mode of transportation for getting a child to and from school.[/tweet_box] A child is 13 times more likely to get to school safely than with any other form of transportation as school buses are designed for safety, with flashing lights, giant mirrors, high seat backs and that bright yellow color. They also keep more than 17 million cars away from school buildings every day. With only 1 percent of all student fatalities during school travel times being caused by school buses, it’s still important to follow important safety precautions. As the school year sets to begin, there will be many first time and returning bus riders. Here are a few tips to share with children and families to help keep kids safe when riding the bus.
1. How to be safe at the bus top: It’s good for parents to visit the bus stop with their child prior to their first time catching the bus at a particular stop to show their child where to wait for the bus and go over important rules for them to keep safe when catching the bus.
- – Arrive at least 5 minutes early to the bus stop.
- – Stand least three giant steps (six feet) away from the curb.
- – There should be no roughhousing or horse playing while waiting for the bus to arrive.
- – Always be aware of moving traffic.
- – Never walk behind the school bus. If you have to cross the street, do it from in front of the bus.
2. How to safely get on and off the bus: Surprisingly, more children are hurt outside a school bus than inside one. To keep safe, children must be alerted to the danger zone around every yellow school bus.
- – Wait for the bus completely stops be for you get on or get off.
- – Use the bus handrail when boarding and exiting
- – Be cautious of clothing or backpacks with drawstrings, key chains or toggles that can get caught in the handrail when boarding the bus
- – If you have to cross the street in front of the bus, walk on a sidewalk or along the side of the street, to a place at least five giant steps (10 feet) in front of the bus before crossing. Make eye contact with the bus driver before crossing, to make sure the driver can see you.
- – NEVER pick something up if dropped near the bus. Tell the bus driver and follow their instructions to retrieve the item. If a child bends over to pick up something, the bus driver may not be able to see them.
3. How to behave on the bus: Drivers are trained to manage student behavior and not to become distracted on the bus, but in the instance a driver does become distracted it could cause a potentially dangerous situation. It is important that kids behave accordingly to keep safe.
- – Find a seat and sit down immediately. Remain in your seat until you arrive at your destination.
- – Refrain from speaking loudly or making loud noises that could distract the driver
- – Be courteous and respectful to the driver. Follow directions.
- – Don’t put hands, head, arms or any objects out of the window.
- – Keep aisles clear of books and bags
When parents put their children on the bus, they’re trusting that their children will return to them safe and sound. It’s important that the school, transportation staff, parents and students are all on the same page and understand the rules of school bus safety. Some districts have implemented new technologies to help keep students safe when riding the bus. These new technologies include school bus arm cameras, badges equipped we GPS devices to track students and more. What are your schools doing to help keep students safe on the school bus? If you have any other ideas that you would like to share with readers, send them our way (email firstname.lastname@example.org), and we would be happy to add them to this post!