With school starting, there are several things that parents can do to ensure the safety of their children while getting ready for and riding the school bus every day. Here are a few tips for parents to remember:
Getting Ready for School
- Have your children put everything they carry in a backpack or school bag so they won’t drop things or leave them on the bus.
- Arrive at the bus stop five minutes early. Children arriving late may be tempted to run across the street causing them to trip and fall in front of a moving vehicle.
Walking to the Bus Stop
- Walk your children to the bus stop and when possible, have older children walk in groups. There are safety in numbers – groups are easier for drivers to see.
- If you must walk in the street, walk single file, face traffic, and stay close to the edge of the road.
- Stop, look left, right, then left again if you cross the street. Do the same thing at driveways and alleys.
Waiting at the Bus Stop
- Don’t let your children run or play games. It’s dangerous near traffic.
- Make sure your child stands at least 10 feet from the road while waiting.
- Teach your children not to litter or be destructive of anyone’s property they are standing near.
- If waiting in your car, never park where you could obstruct the bus.
- Students should not wait in the car until the bus is coming. They should be at the bus stop ready to board before the bus arrives
Getting On and Off the Bus
- ALWAYS cross in front of the bus, NEVER behind and make sure you are at least 10 feet in front of the bus. You should be able to make eye contact with the driver. If you can’t see him, he can’t see you!!
- Do not cross until the bus has come to a complete stop and the red stop lights are activated.
- Warn children if they drop something, they should NEVER pick it up. Instead, they should tell the driver and follow the driver’s instructions. If they bend over to pick it up, the driver might not see them.
- Make sure your child knows when exiting the bus to look right before stepping off the bus. Impatient drivers might try to pass the bus on the right.
- If you meet your child at the bus stop, wait on the side where the child will be exiting the bus, not across the street. In their excitement at seeing you, they may dash across the street and forget safety rules.
Anything any of us can do to keep our children safe is worth taking a minute to think about!