The best way to keep students alert and safe on school bus rides is to encourage active participation in bus safety. While school buses are still the safest mode of getting students to and from school, accidents can happen. Knowledge and awareness are needed for all involved. Here are tips on how to better engage children and prevent injuries:
- Step Back – Children should be at least five giant steps back away from the curb at their bus stop.
- Watch for Signals – Bus drivers can let children know when it is safe to approach the bus to enter or get up from their seats to exit the bus. The driver can use a signal such as a thumbs up or an “all aboard!”.
- Point of View – Children may assume the bus driver can see them. Let the students take turn sitting in the driver’s seat to see blind spots. Point out the back-up cameras and rear-view mirrors so students can understand how important it is that the bus driver can see them clearly.
- Do the Wave – To be sure the road is clear for the students to cross, they should wave at the bus driver and wait for the bus driver to wave back at them letting them know that it is safe to cross.
- Time to Talk – Students should know if they need to talk to the bus driver, they should wait until the bus stops, raise their hand and call the driver’s name. This helps to prevent distracting the driver.
- Reward – Students will respond positively to a “thank you” or an acknowledgement of their good behavior.
If students feel that they are involved in school bus safety, they are much more likely to follow the rules ensuring the safety of all.