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Reinforcing School Bus Safety

Bus Safety Tips to Review with your Child

Every year millions of children travel to and from school by bus. According to the United States Department of Transportation, a school bus is the safest vehicle on the road. As a parent, it is important to teach your child about school bus safety.

Here are 6 safety rules you can teach your child:

Wear some form of reflective material

If your child waits for the bus early in the morning or late in the evening, consider purchasing a reflective clothing item for your child. Drivers cannot always see children waiting for the bus, especially in the dark, putting your child at risk. Backpacks, shoes and other items with reflective stripes or tape can be purchased to alert drivers that a child is in the area in low light conditions. Make sure your child is always wearing their reflective gear.

Mind the school bus danger zones

Like every other vehicle, school buses have blind spots that make it difficult for the driver to see. This can be especially dangerous when a child is approaching the bus. Unless boarding or exiting, your child should always remain ten feet away from the bus.

Only cross the street when the buses’ stop sign is extended

It is only safe to cross the street when the buses’ stop sign is extended and the red lights are flashing. Even with these precautions, your child should always look both ways before crossing the street. The bus driver also needs to be able to see your child at all times, so be sure to tell your child to never go behind the bus for any reason.

Do not play or run while waiting at the bus stop

Although waiting for the bus can be boring, it is important to tell your child to avoid any form of horseplay while at the bus stop. Playing near the roadway is hazardous and your child needs to remain alert at all times to spot any imminent danger.

Never stand up on a moving bus

Although school buses are spacious enough to move around, your child should always be sitting down while the bus is in motion. Remind your child the only time they should be standing is while entering or exiting the bus. One child standing while the bus is moving could put everyone in danger.

Maintain School Rules Regarding Face Masks

During an active pandemic, continue to wear a face mask as mandated by your school and local officials and as recommended by the CDC. In addition socially distance on the bus, use hand sanitizers, and wash your hands upon returning home.

Encourage your child to practice these six tips to ensure safe travel to and from school. The more you review these tips with your child, the safer your child will be.

For Drivers:

Drivers need to know the rules and practice preventive measures in order to protect children who ride buses:


Watch for children playing and congregating near bus stops.

Be Alert

Children arriving late for the bus may dart into the street without looking for traffic.

Learn and obey

Know the school bus laws in your state, as well as the “flashing signal light system” that school bus drivers use to alert motorists of pending actions:

    • Yellow flashing lights indicate 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 the bus has stopped and children are getting on or off. Motorists must stop their cars and wait until the red lights stop flashing, the extended stop-arm is withdrawn, and the bus begins moving before they can start driving again.
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