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Aug 24

School Is Just Around The Corner, A little School Bus Safety Information

Posted on August 24, 2013 at 8:14 PM by Jeffrey Rudinski

The Wilbraham Police Department School Resource Officers want to remind parents and children about school bus safety.  As kids across the state are returning to school, this is another topic that should be discussed with children of all ages that ride the bus to and from school.

safety tips:

Parents play an important role in reinforcing school bus safety, by knowing the rules and talking to their children about them.

Students riding a school bus should always:

  • Arrive at the bus stop five minutes early.

Stand at least 5 giant steps (10 feet) away from the edge of the road.
* Wait  until the bus stops, the door opens, and the driver says it's okay before stepping onto the bus.

  • Be careful that clothing and drawstrings and book bags with straps or dangling objects do not get caught in the handrail or door when exiting the bus.
  • Check both ways for cars before stepping off the bus.

Crossing students should:

  • Walk in front of the bus; never walk behind the bus.
  • Walk on the sidewalk or along the side of the road to a point at least 10 giant steps ahead of the bus.
  • Be sure the bus driver can see them, and they can see the bus driver.
  • Wait for the driver's signal to cross.

Things KIDS should know about school bus safety:

  • The bus driver and others cannot see you if you are standing closer than 10 feet to the bus. Stay out of the danger zone!
  • If something falls under or near the bus, tell the driver. NEVER try to pick it up yourself!
  • While waiting for the bus, stay in a safe place away from the street.
  • If you are late, never run after the bus (you could accidentally fall under the bus).
  • Be alert to traffic. When you get on or off the bus, look left, right, left before you enter or cross the street.
  • When the driver says it is safe to cross the street, remember to CROSS IN FRONT of the bus.
  • Stay in your seat and sit quietly so that the driver is not distracted.

Things PARENTS should know about school bus safety:

  • School buses are the safest form of highway transportation.
  • The most dangerous part of the school bus ride is getting on and off the bus.
  • Pedestrian fatalities (while loading and unloading school buses) account for approximately three times as many school bus-related fatalities, when compared to school bus occupant fatalities.
  • The "Danger Zone" is the area on all sides of the bus where children are in the most danger of not being seen by the driver (ten feet in front of the bus where the driver may be too high to see a child, ten feet on either side of the bus where a child may be in the driver's blind spot, and the area behind the bus).
  • Half of the pedestrian fatalities in school bus-related crashes are children between 5 and 7 years old.

Young children are most likely to be struck because they:

  • Hurry to get on and off the bus.
  • Act before they think and have little experience with traffic.
  • Assume motorists will see them and will wait for them to cross the street.
  • Don't always stay within the bus driver's sight.

Additional safety rules:

  • Keep your hands and feet to yourself.
  • Be courteous and respectful to personal property and others while at your bus stop.
  • Be courteous and respectful to others while riding the bus.
  • No chewing gum or eating candy.
  • No animals on the bus.
  • No glass objects on the bus.
  • No weapons or other potentially hazardous materials on the bus.
  • No balloons, skateboards or large unsecured items on the bus.
  • Put all trash in garbage cans.

These are all distractions to the driver and can lead to potentially dangerous situations.

These are also great reminders when riding in your own vehicle or in car pools.  Kids need to be aware that distracting the driver can be dangerous.  Make sure you lead by example and focus your attention on driving yourself by not texting, answering calls, eating, etc.  Make sure you pull over to do these things so that you are fully committed to the act of driving and your children learn just by seeing your actions.

Have a great School Year!
SRO-Education Jeff Rudinski (Wilbraham Middle School)
SRO Dan Menard