10 school bus safety tips
By LESLIE A. PANFIL
1. Lighten Up. Dressing your child in light colored clothing will help drivers see your child on dark mornings. Consider purchasing reflectors or Day-Glo strips for your child’s backpack.
2. Stand Back. Students should stand at least 10 feet away from the street and wait until the bus comes to a complete stop before proceeding to the bus.
3. Walk. Don’t run to the bus. Accidents are more likely to happen if your child is running particularly on uneven pavement.
4. Leave It. Don’t bend down to pick up something in the road. Drivers are much more likely to not see you if you are bent over. If you have dropped something important, inform the bus driver.
5. Tour of Duty. Take turns with a spouse or neighbor supervising the pick-up and drop-off of children at the bus stop. It is important that at least on adult be present.
6. What’s the Catch? Check your child’s book bag and clothing for items that could catch on something and cause an accident. Key chains, untied shoes and drawstrings are particularly dangerous.
7. Know the Rules. Be sure to go over the rules of the bus with your child. Most rules are in place for the safety and security of your child. Discuss why a rule was created. Even if they are not caught breaking the rule, what could happen as a result.
8. Reporting. Parents should never confront a bus driver or student directly. While how to report bullying or bad behavior on the bus differs depending upon your school district, engaging in a verbal altercation can have serious consequences. Ask you school administrator the proper channels for dealing with bus-oriented issues.
9. Go Against. Your child should always use the sidewalk. If you can’t walk on a sidewalk, use the shoulder or the grass and walk against the traffic (face the traffic.) Watch out for potholes or anything that could make you trip.
10. Drivers Beware. Motorists approaching a school bus from either direction are required to stop a least 10 feet back from buses displaying red flashing lights and an extended stop arm. Police departments are known to patrol areas where a number of reports of bus passing have been reported and cite offenders. In some states, bus drivers can report offenders and officers can cite the driver without having witnessed the offense first hand. Students should be reminded that although required by law to stop, not all drivers obey this vital traffic ordinance. Children should always look rather than assume a car will stop for a school bus.