As parents, you are an important part of the Total Safety Awareness Program for students who travel to and from school by school bus. Although drivers of ALL vehicles are required to stop for a school bus when it is stopped on a highway/roadway (with its side arm and stop arm out) while loading or unloading passengers, — children should not rely on them to do so. The National Safety Council encourages parents to teach their children about proper school bus safety.
Here’s How You Can Help:
- Have your children wear bright, contrasting colored coats or put a high visibility reflective tape on coats and backpacks.
- Help your children to leave on time. Allow for weather and plan to arrive at the bus stop 10 minutes before the scheduled pickup time.
- If possible, accompany your children to the bus stop.
- Remind your children to walk on the sidewalks. If there are no sidewalks, walk single file, facing traffic and as close to the edge of the road as possible.
- Teach your children to stop, look left, right, and then left again before crossing the street.
- Tell your children to stand 15 feet (nine giant steps) away from the street when waiting for the bus.
- Encourage your children to secure loose drawstrings or other objects that may get caught in the handrail or door of the bus as they exit.
- If transportation other than the assigned bus is desired, parents are responsible for making other accommodations, due to space limitations, assigned seating and accountability.
- Instruct your children to STOP and look before hurrying away from the bus as they exit at the end of the day.
- When you meet your child at the bus stop after school, wait on the side where the child will be dropped off.
Students can benefit from learning to become safe pedestrians and passengers.
Boarding, Riding and Exiting the Bus:
- Keep the roadway clear of books, clothing, and other articles and never play in the path of traffic.
- Fighting at bus stops or while riding the bus will not be tolerated and will be reported to the school principal.
- Do not run alongside the bus when the bus is moving. Wait until the bus stops - then walk to the door and board the bus in an orderly manner. Do not push or shove.
- Always cross the street in front of the bus.
- Hold the handrail while going up and down the stairs.
- Passengers are permitted to leave the bus only at their designated stop. Any change must be made with the parent's/guardian's request in writing and must be approved by the signature of the school principal.
- Never cross the road at the rear of a stopped school bus. If a student lives on the opposite side of a road from the bus stop, the student should cross in front of the bus and the bus driver will give the child a signal that it is safe to cross.
- Make sure that drawstrings and other loose objects are secure before boarding or exiting the bus so that they do not get caught on the handrail or the door.
- If you drop something near the bus, be sure to tell the bus driver before you attempt to pick it up, so they will know where you are.
- Respect the "Danger Zone" - which is ten feet wide on all sides of the bus. Always remain 10 steps away from the bus to be out of the "Danger Zone" and where the driver can see you.
- Never speak to strangers at the bus stop and never get into the car with a stranger. Be sure to tell your parents, the bus driver or the principal immediately if a stranger tries to talk to you or pick you up.
- Always remain seated when the bus is in motion.
- Obey the driver's instructions. The driver of a school bus is in complete charge of the passengers while they are aboard.
- Always speak in a quiet voice while on the bus so the driver will not be distracted.
- Never throw things on the bus or out the windows. Keep the aisles clear at all times. Feet should be directly in front of you on the floor and book bags should be kept on your lap. Large instruments or sports equipment should not block the aisle or emergency exits.
- Do not tamper with the emergency door, fire extinguisher, or other equipment on the bus.
- Do not extend arms, legs, or head out of the bus.
- Do not deface the bus. Seat coverings must not be damaged in any manner.
- Keep the bus clean. Do not throw trash on the floor.
- Remember that smoking, eating, and drinking are not permitted on the school bus.
- Profanity, obscene gestures or violence of any kind is prohibited on the school bus and will not be tolerated.