Safety Tips for Kids on Public Transportation
Riding the bus is something all kids who live in the city have to do at some point. You may know about the bus rules posted above the driver, but there are also unwritten rules. These rules keep younger passengers safe from harm.
Only Speak to the Bus Driver If There Is an Emergency- The bus driver needs to concentrate on the road while the bus is in motion. Buses are much bigger than other cars on the road and take extra attention to drive. Unless you miss your stop or feel like you are in danger, let the driver do their job.
Sit Down and Face Forward- Most city buses do not have seat belts and have to go over bumpy roads at high speeds to make good time. Turning around in your seat to talk to a friend can end up hurting your neck, head, or back if the bus has to stop suddenly. When getting onto the bus find a seat quickly. If there are no seats left, an adult will usually get up to let kids sit down. If they don't, hang on tight to the railing with both hands.
How often do you or your children ride public transit?
Look for Suspicious Behavior- Buses ask this of adults all the time, so maybe you have heard it over the speakers. Let the bus driver know if you find a bag that someone left or that has been unattended for a long time. It is also important to look out for people staring at you for a long time. If you feel like someone might be following you, stand up at the next stop like you are about to get off and see if they stand up too. Then, sit down. If they stand up and sit down also, tell the bus driver immediately.
Get Off On The Curb in a Well Populated Area- In case you are followed by someone dangerous, there are plenty of people around and there's no chance they can take you without anyone noticing. Never step off the bus onto the street into traffic. Find a crosswalk or a light and cross when the light turns green.
Cross Where the Driver Can See You- Always cross in front of the bus at least three feet from the bumper so the driver knows where you are and will not drive off with you in front of the bus. Buses have mirrors so the driver can see what is behind them but the bus is so big they cannot see everything.
Travel With A Friend If Possible- Traveling in pairs or more is the safest way to travel, especially if an adult cannot go with you. Two heads are better than one and dangerous people are less likely to approach two people together.
Keep to Yourself If You Are Alone- Conversation with others on a bus is fairly common, but if you are traveling alone it is best not to talk to people you don't know. You might sound rude, but it is better to be safe than polite at times.