School bus safety.

School Bus Safety

DF SafetyHealth and Safety Tips

October 16-20, 2023 marks School Bus Safety Awareness Week. With school back in full swing, it is important as motorists to understand the importance of school bus safety, as well as to teach our children the same. 

While school buses don’t come equipped with seat belts, the inside is designed to protect its occupants. Safety features, such as flashing red light to warn others that the bus is stopping as well as high back seats to help absorb the shock should the bus need to stop or is involved in a collision, will help protect riders as well. 

Two of the most common injuries related to riding the bus include people are getting on or off and if another vehicle hits a school bus from behind. Therefore, it is important to teach your children how to safely get off the bus, and to follow the rules of the road when doing so. As motorists, it is key to pay attention when buses are present. 

For those getting on and off the bus, be sure to teach them the following regarding road safety: 

  • Cross at marked crosswalks. 
  • If there isn’t a crosswalk, be sure to cross at the corner. Ensure the motorist sees you before stepping onto the road to cross. 
  • If crossing in front of a bus, be sure the driver sees you before proceeding. 
  • Always walk on the sidewalk, and if no sidewalk is present, walk on the left side of the road so that your back isn’t turned to oncoming vehicles. 

A helpful tip is to teach children is point, pause, and proceed. Point at the crosswalk to indicate you are crossing, pause to look for traffic in all directions and wait until drivers have come to a complete stop, and proceed across the street with your arm extended. Always check both ways as you cross and be aware of your surroundings. 

For motorists, it is key to use caution when buses are present. Children are getting on and off buses, while others may be crossing the street behind or in front of them, so it is imperative to use caution when passing. Check your surroundings, slow down, and be ready to make a sudden stop if needed. 

Buses also have significant blind spots, which means using care when maneuvering around them is extremely important. Be aware that while children have likely been taught bus and road safety, they are might not always follow the rules accordingly.  

Whether you are driving in a school zone, near a playground, or in a residential area, it is important to practice safe driving habits to protect yourself and others from harm. Use caution when approaching crosswalks, watch for pedestrians when pulling out of a parking space, and pay attention to the road.  

As always, you should never drive distracted. This means putting your phone away, pulling over safely to answer a phone call, and keep your attention, and eyes, on the road. 

We want to ensure that every child gets to and from school safe and sound. Be sure to stay extra alert in areas where buses and children are present and follow the rules of the road to ensure everyone arrives home.