Those big yellow school buses will be hitting the roads soon to transport some 25 million students nationwide before and after school. According to the National Safety Council, school buses are the safest way for kids to get to and from school. Let’s review school bus safety for drivers sharing the road and for students riding the bus.
Sharing the Road
Students are 70 times more likely to get to school safely on a bus compared to traveling by car. Buses are designed for safety! Their bright yellow color, flashing lights, stop-sign arm and giant mirrors are there for good reason. As a driver, we need to do our part to help keep these kids safe. It is important to be alert, but school bus laws must also be obeyed.
Tips for Drivers
- Slow down and be patient. Leave the house 5 minutes earlier once school is back in session. Getting behind a bus could make you late for work, but for good reason!
- Be alert. Watch for kids everywhere! Avoid distracted driving, such as use of your cell phone.
- Pay attention to the lights of the bus.
- Yellow flashing lights indicate the bus is preparing to stop to pick up or drop off kids. Prepare to stop! Do not use it as a time to speed up to pass or go around the bus!
- Red flashing lights and the stop arm tell us kids are actively getting on or off of the bus. All vehicles must completely stop and only proceed once the red lights have been turned off and the stop arm is removed.
- Never pass a bus on the right.
- All school buses must stop at railroad crossings.
- Know the traffic laws for your state! Here are the Ohio laws:
- Failure to stop adds 2 points to your license and fines up to $500!
When you are on a two-lane highway, two-lane highway with center turn lane or a three-lane highway, all traffic must stop!
When you are on a four-lane highway, with or without a turning lane, only the vehicles behind the bus need to stop.
Being a Safe Rider
Tips for Students
At the Bus Stop
- Arrive at your pick up location 5 minutes before the bus is scheduled to be there.
- Stay in your safe area while waiting for the bus.
- Wait until the bus driver has indicated it is okay to get on the bus.
- Never walk behind the bus.
- Stay out of the danger zones (see image).
- If you drop something near the bus, leave it there and tell your bus driver.
Behavior on the Bus
- Be respectful!
- Stay in your seat, facing forward with your feet on the ground.
- Keep the aisles clear.
- Talk quietly. Avoid making noises that would distract the driver.
- Do not get out of your seat while the bus is moving.
- No eating or drinking.
- No horseplay.
- Keep your head, arms and hands inside the bus. Nothing goes out the windows.
The bus drivers have a big responsibility every day to get students to school and back home safely. They go through extensive training to make this happen. As a driver, please review this information and do your part to keep the roads safe. As a parent or grandparent, please review these school bus safety tips and the importance of being a safe rider with your child(ren) or grandchild(ren).
We hope everyone has a wonderful, and SAFE, school year. If you missed our Tips for Back to School, check them out here!