Twenty three million students nationwide ride a school bus throughout the year. The greatest risk is not riding the bus but approaching or leaving the bus.
Before your child goes back to school or starts school for the first time its
important for parents and children to know the safety rules. The loading and unloading area is called the "Danger Zone."
The "Danger Zone" is the area on all sides of the bus where children are most likely not to be seen by the driver.
As parents, we need to teach our children how to be safe when:
Ø Walking to and from the bus
Ø Waiting for the bus
Ø Riding on the bus
Prepare your child before they leave the house. Have your child put everything they carry in a backpack or school bag so that they won't drop items near the bus. Teach your child to secure loose drawstrings and other objects that may get caught in the handrail door of the bus. Always get to the bus stop at least five minutes before the bus arrives.
Walking to and from the Bus
An adult should always accompany young children. Always walk on the sidewalk. When crossing the street to get to the bus, always look left- then right- then left again.
Waiting for the Bus
Have children stand at least six feet away from the curb as the bus approaches. Wait until the bus comes to a complete stop, the door opens and the driver says its safe to board before getting on the bus. Never walk behind the bus or close to the side of the bus. You could be in the driver's blind spot.
Riding the Bus
Remind your child never to stand while the bus is moving. Be courteous to the driver and always obey the driver's directions. Stay seated for the entire bus ride.
In an effort to prevent injuries, the Anaheim Fire Department encourages families to discuss the following bus safety tips:
· Line up facing the school bus door- not along the side of the school bus.
· Don't play in the street while waiting for the school bus.
· Never reach under a school bus to get anything that has rolled or fallen underneath. Tell the bus driver.
· Be careful getting off the bus, checking that nothing snags on the door and tell the driver if you drop books.
Yellow flashing lights indicate that the bus is preparing to stop to either “load” or “unload” children. Motorist should slow down and prepare to stop their vehicles.
Red flashing lights and extended stop arms indicate that the bus has stopped, and children are getting on or off. Motorists must stop their cars and wait until the red lights stop flashing, the extended stop sight is withdrawn, and the bus begins moving before driving your vehicle.
Information provided by NTHSA
www.nhtsa.dot.gov/kids (National Highway Transportation Safety Administration).