Staying safe on the school bus

School Bus Safety

When your kids head for the bus each morning, you want to know that they will be safe throughout the day. Here are some tips to keep in mind as a new school year gets underway.

Stay visible and walk with care. Parents and guardians should accompany their children to the bus stop, if possible. Make sure kids stay on sidewalks and look both ways before crossing. Kids should never run to catch a bus.

Stay safe at the bus stop. At the bus stop, children should remain alert and stay back at least 10 feet from the bus when it arrives. Kids should wait for the bus to come to a complete stop and for the driver to open the door. Kids should never step out into the road before the bus comes to a stop.

Avoid loose items on backpacks. To ensure kids are safe boarding the bus, remove any hanging key chains or other loose items on backpacks that can get caught on the bus door or handrail.

Follow the rules. On the bus, students should remain seated at all times and keep the aisle clear. Parents and guardians should urge their kids to listen to the driver, follow all safety rules, and be respectful.

Don't distract the driver. Sharon Smith, a 15-year bus driver with the Montour School District in Western Pennsylvania, said on her bus students are not allowed to play music or loud games on their phones or other devices. It can be distracting to the driver and cause conflict when students disagree on music or game choices.

Know what to expect. Bus drivers perform evacuation drills with students in September and March of each year, Smith said. She also encourages parents and guardians to get to know who is part of the "safety team" for the bus. This may include the driver, students, teachers, school administrators, and law enforcement officials.

Ask questions. Your children's bus driver is there to help.


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