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Published on Aug 16, 2006 by Edgar Snyder

Back-to-School Safety Tips

Back-to-school bus safety tips

With children headed back to the classroom, Edgar Snyder & Associates wants to make sure your kids travel safely. The following back-to-school safety tips will help prevent accidents as children return to the hallways of elementary, middle, and high schools across the country.

School Bus Safety for Children

Bus safety is not only important for drivers, but also for children riding the bus to school. While these safety tips for bus riders are common sense, they bear repeating:

  • Wait for the bus away from traffic and the street.
  • Do not head toward the bus until it comes to a complete stop and the driver waves you on.
  • When exiting the bus, walk away from the bus and keep a safe distance. A driver can see you better the further out you are. A good rule is to take five "giant steps" out from the font of the bus, or until the driver's face can be seen.
  • Look left-right-left when coming to the edge of the bus to make sure traffic is stopped.

School Bus Safety for Parents

There are also some simple steps that parents can take to make sure their kids are safe when getting on or off the school bus:

  • Supervise children as they wait for the bus, making sure they are away from the street and are not roughhousing.
  • Instruct your child to ask the driver for help if he or she drops something near the bus. If a child bends down to pick something up, the driver may not see him or her.
  • Have your child use a backpack or book bag to keep loose items together.
  • Check to make sure clothing and backpacks don't have loose drawstrings or long straps that can get caught in the handrail or bus door.
  • If you think a bus stop is in a dangerous place, you can talk to the school office or transportation director about changing the location.

School Bus Safety for Drivers

While riding the bus is safer than riding in a car, the great majority of bus-related injuries and fatalities occur as children enter and exit the bus. That's why it's important to follow your state's school bus stopping law. Breaking this law endangers lives and may result in fines or a suspended license.

  • When you meet a stopped school bus with lights flashing and the stop arm extended, you must stop.
  • When you approach an intersection where a stopped school bus has its lights flashing and its stop sign extended, you must stop.
  • You are required to stop at least ten feet away from the school bus.
  • You must not move until the school bus turns its lights off and withdraws its stop sign.
  • Make sure all children have reached a safe place before proceeding.

At Edgar Snyder & Associates, we see first-hand the devastation caused by reckless drivers. Every year, children are injured or killed by drivers passing stopped school buses. Please drive with extra caution during the back-to-school season. One injured child is one too many.

For more information, see our tips to avoid back-to-school injuries on playground and in the classroom.

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