School bus safety tips key for all riders
Many students take the bus to school twice a day, five days a week. Approximately 26 million elementary and secondary school children ride school buses daily in the United States, and the U.S. Department of Transportation says more than 50 percent of all K-12 students in the country ride yellow school buses, traveling approximately 4 billion miles each year.
The vast majority of these miles are traveled without incident. In fact, according to the National Safety Council, the national school bus accident rate is 0.01 per 100 miles traveled, compared to 0.96 for other passenger vehicles, which makes school buses considerably safer than other passenger vehicles.
Though school buses are safe, there are other ways to make them even safer. Children, especially those new to school buses, may find the bus fun and unique and not pay attention to simple safety rules.
But parents should take steps to ensure that youngsters always heed the following school bus safety guidelines.
• Wait for the bus in a safe location that is away
from traffic, ideally staying in a designated school
bus stop until the bus arrives.
• Dress for optimal visibility, especially in
inclement weather when it can be difficult for the
school bus driver and other motorists to
• Do not board the bus until it comes to a complete
stop. Wait for the driver to open the door, which
engages the “Stop” sign for oncoming motorists.
• Use the handrail and enter the bus in an
• Promptly find a seat, sit down and buckle the
safety belt if there is one available. Students
assigned seats on the bus should take their seat
without making a fuss.
• Keep backpacks and other belongings out of the
center aisle. Store them under your seat or on
• Remain seated at all times while the bus
is in motion.