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The ABCs of School Bus Safety

School buses are one of the safest forms of transportation for students. However, potential dangers do exist. The riskiest time of the commute for students is when they board and exit the bus. Below are several tips students, parents, and bus drivers can take to reduce the danger.

Boarding the School Bus

  • Allow plenty of time to reach the designated bus stop.

  • When waiting for the bus, stay safely off the street and away from traffic. Stand where the bus driver can see you!

  • Avoid horsing around or other behavior that can cause inattention. 

  • Line up away from the street as the school bus approaches. 

  • Wait until the bus has stopped and the door opens before stepping onto the roadway. 

  • Use the handrail when boarding the bus.

Exiting the School Bus

  • At your stop, wait for the bus to halt completely before leaving your seat. Walk to the

  • front door and exit using the handrail.

  • If you have to cross the street in front of the bus, walk at least 10 feet ahead of the bus along the side of the road until you can turn around and see the driver. 

  • Make sure that the driver can see you! 

  • Stay away from the rear bus wheels at all times. 

  • Never try to get anything left on the bus after exiting. 

Crossing to Safety

  • Stop at the curb or the edge of the road and look left, then right, and then left again before crossing. 

  • Continue looking in this manner until you are safely across. 

  • Always cross in front of the bus, but only when the bus driver signals it is safe to do so. 

  • When the driver signals, walk across the road, keeping an eye out for sudden changes. 

  • Do not cross the centerline of the road until the driver has signaled that it is safe.

For Parents

  • Supervise children to make sure they get to the stop on time.

  • Teach your child to ask the driver for help if he/she drops something near the bus. If a child bends down to pick up something, the driver cannot see him/her and the child may be hit by the bus. Have your child use a backpack or book bag to keep loose items together. 

  • Make sure clothing and backpacks have no loose drawstrings or long straps that could get caught in the handrail or bus door. 

  • Encourage safe school bus loading and unloading. 

  • If you think a bus stop is in a dangerous place, talk with your school office or transportation director about changing the location.

For Motorists

  • Yellow flashing lights on the bus indicate that it is preparing to stop and load or unload children. This means cars need to slow down and prepare to stop.

  • It is illegal to pass a school bus with its red flashing lights and stop signal arm activated. Vehicles may not pass until the flashing red lights and signals are turned off or when the bus driver motions them through. 

  • Vehicles traveling in the same direction as the bus are always required to stop. Vehicles moving in the opposite direction as the bus are also required to stop, unless they are on a divided highway. 

  • Never pass on the right side of the bus where children are entering and exiting!


Last Updated: October 06, 2022