- Slow down.
- Be especially careful when driving on neighborhood streets and around school zones, always expect the unexpected.
- Be alert for youngsters walking to and from school as you back out of your driveway or leave your garage.
- We want school children to be safe. Watch for them on bicycles, especially at intersections and driveways. Young bicyclists have a tendency to dart out of driveways without looking for traffic.
Stop your car when you see lights flashing on a school bus. Red flashing lights indicate that the bus is stopped and students are getting on or off. Don’t start driving until the red lights stop flashing. Be aware that a child may dash across the street.
School Bus Law
Chapter 90 Section 14
When approaching a vehicle which displays a sign bearing the words SCHOOL BUS and which is equipped with front and rear alternating flashing RED signal lamps which are flashing and the vehicle is stopped to allow pupils to alight from or board, a person operating a vehicle SHALL, except when approaching from the opposite direction on a divided highway, bring his vehicle to a FULL STOP before reaching the school bus and shall not proceed until the warning lights are deactivated, unless directed by a police officer duly authorized to control the movement of traffic. Any person who violates the provisions of this law SHALL be fined not less than two hundred dollars ($200). A second or third subsequent conviction shall be reported forthwith by the court to the registrar who shall revoke immediately the license or right to operate a motor vehicle.
School bus drivers do have the authority to turn in your license number to the police and you can get a ticket from the drivers referral!
As parents, you are an important part of a total safety program for children who travel by school bus. Children need to learn to be safe pedestrians as they walk to and from the bus as well as to be safe riders when they are on the bus. Here’s how you can help:
Getting Ready for School
- Have your children put everything they carry in a backpack or school bag so that they won’t drop things along the way.
- Have them wear bright, contrasting colors so they will be more easily seen by drivers.
- Make sure they leave home on time so they can walk to the bus stop and arrive before the bus is due. Running can be dangerous.
Walking to the Bus Stop
- Go to the bus stop with a young child and have older children walk in groups. There is safety in numbers because groups are easier for drivers to see.
- Don’t let pre-school children or pets go with your child to the bus stop. They can be in danger near traffic.
- Practice good pedestrian behavior.
- Walk on the sidewalk.
- If there is no sidewalk, stay out of the street.
- If you must walk in the street, walk single file, face traffic and stay as close to the edge of the road as you can.
- Stop and look left, right and then left again if you must cross the street. Do the same thing at driveways and alleys. Exaggerate your head turns and narrate your actions so your child knows you are looking left, right and left.
Waiting at the Bus Stop
- Don’t let your child play running games or push and shove at the bus stop. It is too dangerous near traffic.
- Make sure your child stands at least 10 feet (5 giant steps) from the road while waiting for the bus. The child will then be out of the way of traffic. Have younger children practice taking 5 giant steps to become familiar with 10 feet.
Getting On and Off the Bus
- Make children stay at least 10 feet away from the bus until they begin to enter. Children will then be able to see the driver and the driver can see them.
- If children must cross the street to the bus they should cross the street 10 feet (5 giant steps) in front of the bus where they can see the driver and the driver can see them.
- Warn the children that, if they drop something, they should never pick it up. Instead, they should tell the driver and follow the driver’s instructions. If they bend over to pick up a dropped object, they might not be seen by the driver and could be hurt if the driver pulls away from the stop.
- Remind children to look to the right before they step off the bus. Drivers in a hurry sometimes try to sneak by busses on the right.
- Teach your children to secure loose drawstrings and other objects that may get caught in the handrail or door of the bus as they are exiting.
- Give your child a note or follow your school’s procedures if you would like for the child to get off at a stop other than the one they are assigned. The driver isn’t allowed to let a child off at another stop without written permission.
- If you meet your child at the bus stop after school, wait on the side where the child will be dropped off, not across the street. Children can be so excited at seeing you after school that they dash across the street and forget the safety rules.
Riding the Bus
- Remind your children to be good bus riders. They should:
- Talk quietly
- Be courteous to the driver and follow the driver’s directions
- Keep the aisles clear
- Stay seated for the entire bus ride
We want your children to be safe when they travel to and from school. As you help us with the above rules, we hope you will see that school bus safety starts at home.
Walking to the Bus Stop
- Always walk to the bus stop. Never run.
- Walk on the sidewalk. If there is no sidewalk, walk on the left facing traffic.
- Always go to the bus stop about five minutes before the bus is scheduled to arrive.
- While at the bus stop, wait quietly in a safe place well away from the road. Do not run and play while waiting.
Getting On and Off the Bus
- Enter the bus in line with younger students in front and hold the handrail while going up and down the stairs.
- When entering the bus, go directly to a seat. Remain seated and facing forward for the entire ride.
- Always speak in a quite whisper on the bus so the driver will not be distracted.
- Never throw things on the bus or out the windows.
- Keep the aisles clear at all times. Feet should be directly in front of you on the floor and bookbags should be kept on your lap.
- Never play with the emergency exits. If there is an emergency, listen to the driver and follow instructions.
- Large instruments or sports equipment should not block the aisle or emergency exits.
- Remain seated until the bus stops completely.
- Always be silent when the bus comes to a railroad crossing so the driver can hear if there is a train.
- Hands should be kept to yourself at all times while riding on the bus. Fighting and picking on others creates a dangerous bus ride.
- When it is necessary to cross the street, wait for the bus to arrive, watch for red flashing lights and the stop sign to be extended, and cross only when all traffic has stopped. Look left, right, and left again before crossing.
- Only get on and off the bus at your designated stop. If you need to get off the bus somewhere else, you will need to have a note from your parents.
- If you leave something on the bus, never return to the bus to get it. The driver may not see you come back and may begin moving the bus.
- Always make sure that drawstrings and other loose objects are secure before getting off the bus so that they do not get caught on the handrail or the door.
- Respect the “Danger Zone” which surrounds all sides of the bus. The “Danger Zone” is ten feet wide on all sides of the bus.
- Always remain 10 steps away from the bus to be out of the “Danger Zone” and where the driver can see you.
- Always cross the street in front of the bus. Never go behind the bus.
- If you drop something near the bus, tell the bus driver before you attempt to pick it up, so they will know where you are.
- Never speak to strangers at the bus stop and never get into the car with a stranger. Always go straight home and tell you parents if a stranger tries to talk to you or pick you up.
- Once you get off the bus in the afternoon, go straight home so an adult will know where you are.
The Bus Driver
- Always obey the bus driver.
- If someone bothers you on the bus, tell the driver right away.
- If you need to talk to the bus driver, wait for the bus to stop, raise your hand, and call the driver’s name.
- Leave some extra time in the morning to get to your bus on time.
- Wear bright clothing so the bus can see you in the early morning and late evening.
- Wear raincoats that are colored something other than yellow so you will not blend in with the school bus.
- Dress properly. Warm clothes, hats, mittens and boots will help keep you from getting sick.
- Stand away from where the bus stops. Buses need extra room to stop when there is snow and ice.
Don’t play in the snow while waiting for the bus.
- Don’t throw snowballs at the bus or anyone else.
- Don’t slide on the snow or ice patches in driveways or on the street. You could slide under the wheel of the bus and get hurt.
- Don’t push or shove around the bus. Someone could fall down on the ice and get hurt.