The school year has started, which means children and school buses are on the road every morning and afternoon…so it’s time to talk about back to school safety! School buses are one of the safest transportation vehicles, but there are hazards to be aware of when kids are getting on and off of the bus, and while walking to the bus stop.
If you are driving:
- Do not double park – it blocks the field of vision for children and other vehicles
- Don’t pick up or drop off children across the street from their school
- Carpool if you can to decrease the number of automobiles at the school
- Don’t block the crosswalk! This could put pedestrians in the path of moving vehicles
- Never go around a vehicle that is stopped for pedestrians
- Use extra caution when driving in school zones, in residential areas, and by playgrounds/parks – children may be nearby
- Take an extra look when backing out – children could be walking or bicycling by
- Be aware of school bus signals. Yellow flashing lights mean the bus is coming to a stop to drop off or pick up children. All vehicles must slow down and come to a stop. Red flashing lights and an extended stop sign mean the bus is stopped and the children are getting onto the bus or off of it. Drivers must also stop and remain at least ten feet away, not starting up again until the bus’s red flashing lights are off, the stop sign has been returned, and the bus starts moving
- If there is a bicyclist driving on the side of the road, pass slowly and remain at least three feet away from the bicyclist
- If a bicyclist is approaching while you are turning right, brake and let them go through first – and always use your turn signal
- Keep an eye out for bicyclists riding/turning in front of you without looking or signaling
If you are a pedestrian:
- Be early – aim to be at your bus stop at least five minutes before the scheduled arrival of the bus
- Stand a safe distance away from the street (six or more feet) while waiting and when the bus arrives
- Do not move towards the bus until the bus driver opens the door and signals to proceed onto the bus
- Be visible at all times! If you must cross the street in front of the bus, walk up the street 10 feet or so before crossing, and make sure the bus driver sees you. Never walk behind the bus.
- If you drop something by the bus, inform your bus driver. Do not try to pick it up as you may not be in your driver’s line of sight
Safety is extremely important. If we all take the necessary precautions, it will be a safe school year for everyone! Happy back to school!