Children are the biggest joys in our lives in protecting them from danger is a fulltime job whether you are their mom, teacher, scout leader, or their bus driver. Bus drivers are skilled drivers who must also deal with keeping a busload of kids safe at one time, so keep that in mind when you are dropping your kids at the bus stop. Give your child’s bus driver the support they need by helping to teach your kids about proper bus riding etiquette. The greatest risk to your child is not riding a bus but approaching or leaving one. Before your child goes back to school or starts school for the first time, you and your child need to know traffic safety rules. Teach your child to follow these practices to make school bus transportation safer.
Safety Starts at the Bus Stop
Your child should arrive at the bus stop at least five minutes before the bus is scheduled to arrive. Visit the bus stop and show your child where to wait for the bus: at least three giant steps (six feet) away from the curb. Never let your children run across the street when they are late for the bus. They may not be seen by any oncoming traffic or by the bus driver. Remind your child that the bus stop is not a place to run or play.
Get On and Off Safely
When the school bus arrives, your child should wait until the bus comes to a complete stop, the door opens, and the driver says it’s okay before approaching the bus door. Your child should use the handrails to avoid falling while climbing the stairs unto and off the school bus.
Use Caution Around the Bus
Your child should never walk behind a school bus. If your child must cross the street in front of the bus, tell him/her to walk on a sidewalk or along the side of the street to a place at least five giant steps (10 feet) in front of the bus before crossing. Your child should also make eye contact with the bus driver before crossing to make sure the driver can see him/her. If your child drops something near the school bus, like a ball or book, the safest thing is for your child to tell the bus driver right away. Your child should not try to pick up the item, because the driver might not be able to see him/her when they bend down to retrieve the item.
Make school bus transportation safer for everyone by following these practices:
- When backing out of a driveway or leaving a garage, watch out for children walking or bicycling to and from school.
- When driving in neighborhoods with school zones, watch out for young people who may be thinking about getting to school, but may not be thinking of getting there safely.
- Slow down. Watch for children walking in the street, especially if there are no sidewalks in the neighborhood.
- Watch for children playing and congregating near bus stops.
- Be alert. Children arriving late for the bus may dart into the street without looking for traffic.
- Learn and obey the school bus laws in your state, as well as the "flashing signal light system" that school bus drivers use to alert motorists of pending actions:
- Yellow flashing lights indicate the bus is preparing to stop to load or unload children. Motorists should slow down and prepare to stop their vehicles.
- Red flashing lights and extended stop arms indicate the bus has stopped and children are getting on or off. Motorists must stop their cars and wait until the red lights stop flashing, the extended stop-arm is withdrawn, and the bus begins moving before they can start driving again.
This is a serious issue in our every year children are struck and killed by motorists or dragged by school busses and it is preventable. With just a little more care we can keep the children in our communities safe when they are getting off and on their school bus. Because going to school should be a fun and safe experience. Let's all do our part to keep the children of our community safe.
Tune in next week for a blog about New & Teen Drivers thank you for reading.
Laura @ Westside Transmission & Automotive, Inc.