School Bus Safety

Friday, October 16, 2009

BUS STOP: Your child’s bus stop should be in an area that is well lit, easily accessible, and away from traffic. If you live in an area where there is heavy snowfall, make sure that the stop is sufficiently free of snow, ice and related debris.

CLOTHING: Children should be wearing bright colored clothing, especially if waiting for the bus before sunrise or getting home after dark. Place removable reflective tape on their outer garments including on their hats and coats.

Boarding: Teach your children to stand back away from the curb and to remain there until the bus has completely stopped and the driver opens the door to board. Teach them to board the bus in an orderly manner, without pushing or shoving and be seated immediately.

SEATING: Virtually all school buses DO NOT come equipped with seatbelts, nor are seats strong enough to resist impact in the event of a crash. Teach your children to be seated at all times. Face the front of the bus and keep their feet in front of them rather than out in the aisles. Staying directly behind the seat in front of you protects you in case of an accident.

IN CASE OF AN ACCIDENT: Teach your children various brace positions to prepare for the possibility of an accident. Learn optional exit strategies including using the emergency door or windows.

AWARENESS OF WHAT IS GOING ON AROUND THEM: Teach your children to be aware of the traffic in the area; to be constantly looking both ways as they cross streets; and to never walk behind the school bus. Teach them the DANGER ZONES: Behind the bus, where the driver cannot see them or in front of the bus where the driver cannot see them unless they are ten feet or three giant steps in front. The driver should be able to see them and they should see the driver.

A bus driver needs to be able to hear emergency vehicles, trains at railroad crossings, and other emergencies that might arise during the bus route. Children need to understand the importance of obeying the school bus rules and the consequences that could result.

You can keep your children safe by raising their awareness of potential hazards while the rest of us can make school bus safety a priority by obeying the rules of the road. Let’s make the rest of this school year a safe one.

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