By Samuetta Drew
After reporting the other week that 25 million boys and girls nationwide are transported by school buses, it is important to thoroughly explore the many safety factors centered on this particular type of school transportation.
Yes, buses are designed to be safe, but in my former profession where I supervised a school district’s transportation department along with other departments, you will not believe how many times people collide with a big yellow school bus especially during morning traffic. There are many incidents which occur at bus stops as well as incidents on the school bus. So let’s continue this safety conversation about school bus safety.
Behavior on the Bus:
- When riding the school bus make sure your child understands the importance of remaining seated and to keep their head and arms inside the bus at all times
- They should sit properly by keeping both feet on the floor and their backs against the seat
- Teach your child not to shout or make any loud noises which could distract the driver
- Teach them to be quiet when there is a lot of traffic or when the bus approaches railroad tracks
- If seat belts are available on the bus, remind them to always buckle up
- Aisles should be kept clear of books and bags
- Students should get their belongings together before reaching their stop
- Remind them to make a habit of always waiting until the bus comes to a complete stop before getting off
- Never walk in the driver’s “blind spot” once they exit the bus; this is the area from the front of the bus out to about 10 feet from the front of the bus
- Teach your child if they need to cross the street in front of the bus, walk on the side of the bus driver, and emphasize that the bus driver should always be able to see them
School Zone Safety Tips:
- Be on the lookout for school zone signals and ALWAYS obey the speed limits
- When entering a school zone, be sure to slow down and obey all traffic laws
- Always stop for school buses loading and unloading
- Watch out for school crossing guards and obey their signals
Keeping an Eye on School safety is everyone’s business.