Some 25 million students nationwide begin and end their day with a trip on a school bus. Designed for safety, with flashing lights, giant mirrors, high seat backs and that bright yellow color, school buses keep more than 17 million cars away from school buildings every day.
School buses are the safest way to get to and from school. Riding a bus to school is 13 times safer than riding in the family vehicle and 10 times safer than walking.
Taking the Bus is the Best Option
If bus service is available in your area, the National Safety Council recommends students take the bus rather than walk or ride with parents or teenagers.
More school-age pedestrians have been killed during the hour before and after school than any other time of day, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. And, although vehicle drivers are required by law to stop for a school bus when it’s loading or unloading passengers, they often don’t. Children should not rely on them to do so.
Tips for a Safe Ride
While school buses are, by far, the safest way for students to travel, children need to do their part to stay alert and aware of their surroundings to prevent injury. NSC urges parents to teach their children the following safety rules for getting on and off the bus, and for exercising good behavior while riding.
Getting on the Bus:
- When waiting for the bus, stay away from traffic and avoid roughhousing or other behavior that can lead to carelessness
- Do not stray onto the street, alleys or private property
- Line up away from the street or road as the bus approaches
- Wait until the bus has stopped and the door opens before approaching the bus
- Use the handrail when boarding
Behavior on the Bus:
- Don’t speak loudly or make loud noises that could distract the driver
- Stay in your seat
- Don’t put your head, arms or hands out the window
- Keep aisles clear of books and bags
- Get your belongings together before reaching your stop
- Wait for the bus to stop completely before getting up from your seat
Getting Off the Bus:
- Use the handrail when exiting
- If you have to cross in front of the bus, first walk at least 10 feet ahead until you can see the driver
- Make sure the driver can see you
- Wait for a signal from the driver before crossing
- When the driver signals, look left, right, then left again. Walk across the road and keep an eye out for sudden traffic changes
- If your vision is blocked, move to an area where you can see other drivers and they can see you
- Do not cross the center line of the road until the driver signals it is safe
- Stay away from the rear wheels of the bus at all times
You can obtain additional information by logging onto National Safety Council.