National School Bus Safety Week runs through Friday, October 25, but bus safety is a crucial prioritization throughout the entire year. More than 25 million children ride the yellow school bus each day. The National Association for Pupil Transportation recommends the following tips for parents to help keep students safe:
Getting Ready for School
1. Have your children put everything they carry in a backpack or school bag so that they won’t drop things along the way.
2. Encourage them to wear bright, contrasting colors so they will be more easily seen by drivers.
3. Make sure children leave home on time so they can arrive at the bus stop before it is due, ideally at least five minutes early. Running after or in front of a bus is dangerous.
Walking to the Bus Stop
1. Walk young children to the bus stop or encourage children to walk in groups. There is safety in numbers; groups are easier for drivers to see.
2. Practice good pedestrian behavior: walk on the sidewalk, and 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.
3. Stop and look left, right and then left again if you must cross the street. Do the same thing at drive -ways and alleys. Exaggerate your head turns and narrate your actions so your child knows you are looking left, right and left.
At the Bus Stop
1. Have children wait in a location where the driver can see them while driving down the street. Try to avoid waiting in a house or car.
2. Do not let children play in the street. Playing with balls or other toys that could roll into the street is also dangerous.
Getting On and Off the Bus
1. Warn children that if they drop something getting on and off the bus, they should never pick it up. Instead, they should tell the driver and follow the driver’s instructions.
2. Remind children to look to the right before they step off the bus.
3. 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 to see you after school that they dash across the street and forget the safety rules.