On National School Bus Safety Week, Keep Students Safe with These Reminders
By Lisabeth Schuetz, Corporate Communications Coordinator
October 18, 2022
You’re running late for work and see that pesky, blinking, red stop sign up ahead. If it were any other vehicle, you may have safely driven around it – but the line of children climbing onto the bus makes you smile and remember riding the school bus yourself back in the day.
Recognized annually throughout the third week of October, National School Bus Safety Week is an active and developing public education program aimed to put the spotlight on getting our children to school safely.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, children are 70 times more likely to arrive at school safely by school bus than another vehicle. That can be attributed in no small part to the strict regulations school buses must adhere to on the road. But, it falls within our responsibility, too, to ensure that our children – and those of our neighbors – arrive safely.
The NHTSA suggests the following as the best practices for bus stop safety:
Tips for Parents:
- Be present! Wait with young children at the bus stop, ensuring that they stay at least 6 feet from the curb.
- Be patient! Wait until the bus comes to a complete stop. Children must ALWAYS walk in front of the bus if crossing the road.
- Ensure visibility! Make sure your child is always in the bus driver’s line of vision. Encourage them to make eye contact if they plan on crossing – or if something is dropped near the bus, ask the bus driver to wait while they retrieve the item.
Tips for Drivers:
- Always look in your rearview mirror to ensure no children are walking behind you while backing out of a driveway.
- Watch! When driving through your neighborhood, pay attention for children waiting at school bus stops.
- Learn the school bus laws in your state.
Yellow Flashing Lights vs. Red Flashing Lights
- Yellow flashing lights indicate that a school bus is preparing to stop. This is an important sign for motorists to begin to slow down and prepare to come to a complete stop.
- Red flashing lights mean the bus should be at a complete stop. Children will be getting on or off the bus at this point. Motorists must wait until the bus begins to move again before hitting the gas.