The countdown to the first day of school is on. Just as important as it is to get everything ready for the big day, it’s also a good idea to go over a few school bus safety tips.
After all, it’s been a long summer and you may have to do a little homework to ensure you and your kids are prepared for the big yellow bus. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has put together a handy cheat sheet of tips to help students, parents, and motorists be safe around buses.
- Be early. Arrive at your bus stop at least five minutes before it comes to pick you up.
- When the bus picks you up, give it some room. Stand at least six feet away from the curb, and line up away from the street.
- Don’t be in a rush to climb onboard. You should wait until the bus comes to a complete stop, 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, you should walk on the sidewalk or along the side of the road until you are about 10 feet ahead of the bus before crossing. When you cross, make sure that you can see the bus driver and the bus driver can see you.
- To avoid falls, use the handrails when entering and exiting the bus. Make sure clothing or backpacks don’t get caught in the handrails or doors when you’re leaving the bus.
- Never walk behind the bus.
- If you drop something near the bus, tell the bus driver before picking it up – the bus driver might not be able to see you.
- Watch out for children walking or bicycling when backing out of a driveway or leaving a garage. A good habit to get into is to walk around your car or out to the sidewalk to check for any children in your path before you get into it.
- Drive slowly and watch for children walking in the street. Keep an eye out for kids playing or waiting around bus stops.
- Even though children are taught about looking both ways, they could dart into the street without looking, so be extra vigilant and aware when driving.
- Every state or province has its own set of laws when it comes to school buses. Yellow flashing lights mean the bus is going to stop or drop off children. Red flashing lights and an extended stop arm signal let you know that the bus is stopped, and that children are getting on or off. Make sure you know what you have to do as a driver around these signals.
[Source: Consumer Reports]