Online Resource: School Bus & School Safety Zone

Every morning, millions of students ride a bus to school. Most kids know that their school is a safe place, but the school bus, like any vehicle on the road, can be dangerous. Just like how there are rules at school, there are rules that should be followed when getting on and riding the bus. Whether you take the bus every day or you only ride them on field trips, it is important to know the safety rules.

The Signs

By now you are probably getting to know what the signs on the side of the road mean. You have seen some white speed limit signs, maybe a few yellow dead end signs and a lot of red stop signs. A school bus actually has a stop sign on it. The sign has flashing red lights. When drivers see these red lights, they need to stop their cars. When you are being picked up by the school bus in the morning, make sure you wait to get on until the bus driver has turned on the stop lights.

There are other road signs that have to do with school that you don’t see as often. Signs that show where a school zone is are yellow like dead end signs, but they aren’t diamond shaped. School zone signs have five points and look like a rectangle with a triangle on top of it. A school zone sign has a picture of two people on it, a boy and a girl, and each seems to be carrying a briefcase. There is also a school zone crossing sign that looks the same except the people are seen between two horizontal lines that look like a road. Drivers need to be careful near these signs, especially during school hours.

One more sign that you might see on some streets is a yellow diamond that reads School Bus Stop Ahead. This sign tells drivers that they are driving near a place where children may be waiting for a school bus in the morning. Most drivers are sure to be extra careful so that they don’t hurt any kids. However, you still need to use personal safety just in case.

Bus Stop Safety

Bus safety starts long before the bus shows up in the morning. First, try get to the bus stop five minutes before you think the bus will show up. That way, if the bus is early you won’t risk missing it. Never run to the bus stop. You might trip or slip. If there is a sidewalk, use it. Walking down the middle of the road give you more risk of being hit by cars. Don’t listen to music or play handheld video games at the bus stop. They could distract you from dangers such as out-of-control cars. Never speak to strangers. If a substitute you’ve never met is driving the school bus that comes to pick you up, make sure it is the same bus number. When the bus shows up, wait for the red flashing lights, and then look both ways before crossing the street. Take big steps when getting on the bus so that drivers can see that you’re moving.

If you drop an object in or near the road, do not pick it up without telling the driver first. The bus is high up and they might not see you. Only one student should go through the door and up the steps at a time and every one should use the hand rail. Never go behind the bus and do not chase it if you miss it.

Finally, be sure to never go into the danger zone around the bus. Visit the links at the bottom of this page for more information about where the danger zone is.

School Bus Safety

When you’re finally on the bus and seated, there are a lot of rules that you must follow to keep yourself and the other students safe. Buckle up and stay seated throughout the whole ride. Keep your legs and belongings out of the aisle so other students do not trip. It is alright to talk to the other students, but don’t be too loud because the bus driver needs to concentrate. Don’t put your head or arms out the window and do not throw anything out the window. Some seats are next to emergency exit handles. Never play with them. Do not eat or drink on the bus because you could choke or make a mess. If you need to cross the street when you get off the bus at the end of the day, make eye contact with the driver. Make sure they see you and signal that it is okay to cross the street.

Check Out These Cool Links to Learn More about School Bus Safety

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