“The wheels on the bus go round and round…” According to the National Safety Council (NSC), around 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 for students to travel, but children also 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:
• If seat belts are available on the bus, buckle up.
• 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 centerline of the road until the driver signals it is safe.
• Stay away from the rear wheels of the bus at all times.
First-Time Rider tips:
• Before the first day of school, point out the bus stop where you and your children will wait for the bus each day.
• Even if it’s your own driveway or the corner nearest your home, be sure your child knows where they need to be for the bus to stop.
• Introduce yourself and your child to your bus driver on the first day. Let the driver know it’s a new experience for your child.
• Write your child’s bus number down on a piece of paper and tape to the inside of their school bag, especially if the morning and evening bus numbers differ.
• Remind your child to ask an adult for help if they become confused or unsure when loading for the bus or during a bus transfer. Make sure your child knows the name of their school.
• Review the above safety tips for a fun ride! •