Back to School: School bus safety

Published 12:00 am Thursday, August 6, 2020

Rowan-Salisbury Schools lists the following safety tips for parents:

  • Make sure you always drop off and pick up your child at the designated bus stop – not across the street. Children can sometimes get excited to see you after school and dart across the road without looking.
  • Be sure someone responsible walks with your child and waits with them at the bus stop. It is not safe for a single child to wait alone for the bus, and it is easier for drivers to see more than one person.
  • Before you leave the house, put everything that your child will need into their backpack so they won’t drop items along the way. Make sure all loose straps, drawstrings, etc. are secured so they won’t get caught in the handrail or door of the bus as they are entering or exiting.
  • If possible, dress your child in bright, contrasting colors so drivers can easily see them. Take extra precaution when they are waiting at the bus stop in the dark. In cold weather, dress your child in a warm hat instead of having them wear a hood. Hoods can make it more difficult for them to hear and see traffic as they are crossing the street.
  • Make sure your child leaves for the bus stop at a reasonable time to avoid rushing or running.
  • Show your child how to safely walk to the bus stop. Always walk on the sidewalk when possible, stay out of the street. If you must walk in the road, walk as close to the side of the road as possible, and always walk facing oncoming traffic.
  • Be mindful of school bus safety when you are on the road. Watch for blinking amber lights on a school bus, which means it is coming to a stop and be sure to ALWAYS stop when the stop arm is extended.

The following safety tips are for students at the bus stop:

  • Walk, don’t run to your bus stop.
  • Get to your bus stop five minutes early, and never chase or approach the bus while it’s moving.
  • Don’t play around at the bus stop. Pay attention to your surroundings. Listening to music or playing video games can distract you from watching for traffic.
  • Stay out of the street while waiting for the bus.
  • Stay at least 10 giant steps from a moving school bus, so the bus driver can see you.
  • Wait for the bus to stop completely before you move toward it to get on.
  • Look both ways before crossing the street.
  • Get in a single-file line to board the bus. No pushing.
  • Stay away from the bus wheels at all times. The driver cannot see you there.
  • Items with straps and strings, like hoodies and book bags, can get stuck on the handrail or in the door as you get on or off the bus.
  • If you must cross the street, first wait for your driver’s signal that it’s safe to cross. Second, always cross in front of the bus where the driver can see you. Never cross behind the bus.
  • If you drop something outside the bus, tell the driver. When they give you the safe sign, pick it up.
  • Watch out for other traffic when walking to and from the bus stop.

The following safety tips are for students on the bus:

  • Use the handrail to get on and off the bus.
  • When you enter the bus, find your seat and quickly sit down.
  • Always obey and respect your bus driver. Remember, they’re responsible for keeping you safe.
  • Use your inside voice.
  • Don’t leave items or trash in the aisle.
  • Keep your hands, arms and head inside the bus.
  • Don’t touch the emergency door or windows.
  • If you see someone being bullied, immediately let your driver or teacher know.
  • Stay in your seat until the bus comes to a complete stop.
  • Always get off the bus at your stop.