Several school systems have already started their year and thousands more are heading back soon, many on school buses. While riding a bus to school is safer than riding in the family car or walking, you may be wondering how to help your children ride the school bus safely.
School Bus Safety Tips:
• Children should always board and exit the bus at locations where they can safely access the bus or school building. When waiting for the bus, they should stay away from traffic and avoid roughhousing or other behavior that can lead to carelessness and accidents.
• Teach your children to wait for the bus to stop and the door to open before approaching it from the curb.
• Make sure your children walk at least ten feet in front of the bus to be sure the driver can see them. After checking with the driver for a signal that it is safe to cross, they need to look left, right and then left again. Then they should walk quickly across the road, checking for any traffic changes.
• Crossing busy roads can be dangerous. Remind your children to always look both ways to see that no other traffic is coming before crossing the street. Unfortunately, traffic does not always stop as required by law. They can't trust that motorists will always stop. You may want to actually practice with your child the correct way to cross the street, prior to the first day of school.
.• Your children should always use the handrail when boarding or exiting the bus.
• Remind your child to sit down and not move around on the bus and to always wait for the bus to stop completely before exiting.
• If the school bus has lap and shoulder seat belts, make sure your child uses one at all times when in the bus. (If your school district has buses that don't have lap and shoulder belts, encourage them to buy or lease buses with these installed. The National Safety Council supports the incorporation of lap and shoulder belts in school buses – and across multiple modes of transportation – to ensure the safest ride for children.
• The aisles should be kept clear of bags and books. All belongs should be gathered before the bus stops.
• Always stay away from the rear wheels of the bus.
Don't take school bus safety for granted. Daily you should remind your young children of the rules until they become second nature and then regularly during the school year. A refresher course for older children is also a good idea.
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