August is back to school month, and soon many children will begin and end their school day with a trip on a school bus.
Did you know that school buses are designed to be safer than other passenger vehicles? According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, school buses are the safest mode of transportation for getting children to and from school. In fact, the greatest risk for children isn’t actually riding the bus; it’s how they approach and leave the bus.
Here are some basic bus safety rules both children and adults need to know:
- Take caution when backing out of a driveway or garage and watch carefully for children walking or biking.
- In school zones, be aware of children hurrying to get to school who are not paying careful attention to their surroundings.
- Drive slowly. Look for children in the street, especially when there are no sidewalks in the neighborhood.
- Slow down when children are playing and gathering at bus stops.
- Be alert for children who may run into the street without looking.
- Follow the rules when buses are stopped and when approaching and passing a bus.
- Get to the bus stop ahead of your scheduled pick-up time.
- Stand at least six feet away from the curb when the bus approaches.
- Do not attempt to get in the bus until the bus stops, the door opens and the driver gives the OK to step inside.
- If you have to cross the street in front of a bus, make sure you are at least 10 feet ahead of the bus before you cross. You want to make sure the bus driver can see you clearly.
- Use the bus handrails when entering and exiting the bus to avoid falls.
- Never walk behind a bus.
- If you drop something near the bus, tell the bus driver. Don’t try to pick it up; the driver might not be able to see you.
It is important for parents to share safety information with their children before school starts. Following these simple steps will help keep our children safe during the school year.