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As parents, you are an important part of a total safety program for children who travel by school bus. Children need to learn to be safe pedestrians as they walk to and from the bus as well as to be safe riders when they are on the bus. Heres how you can help:

Getting Ready for School

  • Have your children put everything they carry in a backpack or school bag so that they wont drop things along the way.
  • Have them wear bright, contrasting colors so drivers will more easily see them.
  • Make sure they leave home on time so they can walk to the bus stop and arrive before the bus is due. Running can be dangerous.


Walking to the Bus Stop

  • Go to the bus stop with a young child and have older children walk in groups. There is safety in numbers; groups are easier for drivers to see.
  • Dont let pre-school children or pets go with your child to the bus stop. They can be in danger near traffic.
  • Practice good pedestrian behavior.


Walk on the Sidewalk

  • If there is a sidewalk, stay out of the street. Walk on the shoulder or grass.
  • If you must walk in the street, walk single file, face traffic and stay as close to the edge of the road as possible.
  • Stop and look left, right, and then left again if you must cross the street. Do the same thing at driveways and alleyways.
  • Exaggerate your head turns and narrate your actions so your child knows you are looking left, right, and left.


Walking at the Bus Stop

  • Dont let your child play running games or push and shove at the bus stop. It is too dangerous near traffic.
  • Make sure your child stands at least 10 feet (5 giant steps) from the road while waiting for the bus. The child will then be out of the way of traffic. Have younger children practice taking 5 giant steps to become familiar with 10 feet.


Getting On and Off the Bus

  • Make children stay at least 10 ft. away from the bus until they begin to enter. This will allow children to see the driver and vice versa.
  • If children must cross the street to the bus they should cross the street 10 feet (5 giant steps) in front of the bus where they can see the driver and the driver can see them.
  • Warn the children that, if they drop something, they should never pick it up. Instead, they should tell the driver and follow the drivers instructions. If they bend over to pick up a dropped object, they might not be seen by the driver and could be hurt if the driver pulls away from the stop.
  • Remind children to look to the right before they step off the bus. Drivers in a hurry sometimes try to sneak by busses on the right.
  • Teach your children to secure loose drawstrings and other objects that may get caught in the handrail or door of the bus as they are exiting.
  • Give your child a note or follow your schools procedures if you would like for the child to get off at a stop other than the one they are assigned. The driver isnt allowed to let a child off at another stop without written permission.
  • If you meet your child at the bus stop after school, wait on the side where the child will be dropped off, not across the street. Children can be so excited at seeing you after school that they dash across the street and forget the safety rules.


Riding the Bus

  • Remind your children to be good bus riders. They should:
  • Talk quietly.
  • Be courteous to the driver and follow the drivers directions.
  • Keep the aisles clear.
  • Stay seated, facing the front for the entire bus ride.


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