School Bus Safety Tips - FOX Carolina 21

School Bus Safety Tips

Drivers need to remember to always stop for school buses that are loading and unloading students. It's the law. (©istockphoto) Drivers need to remember to always stop for school buses that are loading and unloading students. It's the law. (©istockphoto)

By: Dan Meade
Provided by WorldNow

National School Bus Safety Week is celebrated yearly during the third week of October, but as school begins each year, everyone - students, parents, and all motorists - should be reminded about the basics of school bus safety.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, between 1996 and 2006 (the most recent years for which statistics were available), 159 children were killed in school transportation-related crashes. In those crashes, 73% of the children were killed by school buses, or vehicles acting as school buses, while 28% were killed by other vehicles. Half of the children killed were between the ages of 5 and 7.

The NHTSA also noted that nearly half of all school-transportation related accidents happened between 7-8 AM or 3-4 PM.

To help prevent school-transportation accidents, and to ensure a safe ride to school for your children, here are some school bus safety tips - for both children and drivers:

School Bus Safety Poster Contest

As part of this year's National School Bus Safety Week, the National Association for Pupil Transportation will be running a School Bus Safety Poster Contest.

There will be a winner in every state in five different divisions for students aged K-8.

The theme of this year's content is "Avoid Harm, Obey the Stop Arm" and the deadline for entry is October 15th.

Click here for more information.

School Bus Safety for Students

The SAFE KIDS Coalition of Southeastern Pennsylvania, along with the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, provides these tips for student safety:

Walking to the bus stop

  • Choose the safest route to the bus stop.

  • Walk the same route every day and avoid shortcuts.

  • Look left, right and left again for traffic before and while crossing the street.

  • Do not enter the street from between parked cars or from behind bushes or shrubs.

  • Cross the street at a corner or crosswalk.

Waiting for the bus

  • Stay out of the street and avoid horseplay.

  • Arrive at the stop at least five minutes before the bus is scheduled to arrive.

  • Always wait for parents on the same side of the street as the school bus loading/unloading zone.

On the bus

  • Remain seated at all times and keep the aisles clear.

  • Do not throw objects.

  • Do not shout or distract the driver unnecessarily.

  • Keep head and arms inside the bus at all times.

Boarding and leaving the bus

  • Wait until the bus comes to a complete stop before exiting.

  • Walk in a single file line when boarding the bus.

  • Use the handrail to avoid falls.

  • Be aware of the driver's blind spot (10 feet around the bus) when walking away from the bus.

  • Cross the street at least 10 feet in front of the bus.

  • Never pick up items that fell under the bus. Instead, ask the bus driver for help.

  • Remove loose drawstrings or ties on jackets and sweatshirts and replace with Velcro, snaps or buttons.

School Bus Safety for Drivers

In preparation for the new school year, the American Automobile Association has launched its 75th annual "School's Open - Drive Carefully" campaign. As part of the campaign, AAA provides these tips for drivers:

  • Slow down in or near school or residential areas, and be sure to come to a complete stop at all intersections.

  • Look for clues such as AAA School Safety Patrol members, crossing guards, bicycles and playgrounds which indicate children could be in the area.

  • Scan between parked cars and other objects for signs that children could dart into the road.

  • Always stop for school buses that are loading and unloading students. It's the law.

  • Leave a little early so you are not rushed as you travel to work or school.

  • Drive with your headlights on - even during the day - so children and other drivers can see you.
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