For twenty three million students nationwide, the
school day begins and ends with a trip on a school bus. The greatest risk is not
riding the bus, but approaching or leaving the bus. Before children go back to
school or start school for the first time, it is essential that adults and
children know traffic safety rules.
- When backing out of a driveway or leaving a garage, watch out for
children walking or bicycling to 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 neighborhood.
- Slow down. Watch for children playing and congregating near bus stops.
- Be alert. Children arriving late for the bus may dart into the street
with out looking for traffic.
- Learn and obey the school bus laws in your state. Learn the "flashing
signal light system" that school bus drivers use to alert motorists of
- Yellow flashing lights
indicate that 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 that the bus has stopped, and that children
are getting on or off. Motorists must stop their cars and wait until the
red lights stop flashing, the extended stop sign is withdrawn, and the
bus begins moving before they can start driving again.
- Get to the bus stop at least five minutes before the bus is scheduled to
- When the bus approaches, stand at least three giant steps (6 feet) away
from the curb, and line up away from the street.
- Wait until the bus stops, the door opens, and the driver says that it's
okay before stepping onto the bus.
- If you have to cross the street in front of the bus, walk on the
sidewalk or along the side of the road to a point at least five giant steps
(10 feet) ahead of the bus before you cross. Be sure that the bus driver can
see you, and you can see the bus driver.
- Use the handrails to avoids falls.
When exiting the bus, be careful that clothing with drawstrings, and book
bags with straps don't get caught in the handrails or doors.
- Never walk behind the bus.
- Walk at least three giant steps away from the side of the bus.
- If you drop something near the bus, tell the bus
try to pick it up because the driver may not be able to see you.
- Teach children to follow these common sense practices to make school bus
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