Today marks the first day of National School Bus Safety Week, October 20–24, 2014, an annual public education event designed to promote school bus safety. This week, school districts across the country will hold events and share important information to educate the public about student safety on and around the school bus.
The Office of the State Superintendent of Education, Division of Student Transportation (OSSE DOT) will share daily tips on school bus safety on the OSSE blog, Twitter and Facebook.
Educate Children on Safety Off the School Bus
More children are hurt outside the school bus than inside one. Teachers and parents can help prevent accidents and injuries by teaching children the proper ways to get on and off the bus, cross the street and how to handle dropping items near the bus.
Tip 1: Alert them to the “danger zone” around the school bus
The “danger zone” is the area on all sides of the bus where children are in the most danger of not being seen by the driver – ten feet in front of the bus where the driver may be too high to see a child, ten feet on either side of the bus in the driver’s blind spot, and behind the bus.
Students should walk, not run, out of the danger zone as soon as they leave the bus.
Tip 2: Crossing the street
When crossing the street, students should follow these steps:
- Walk five giant steps from the front of the bus to exit the “danger zone”
- Wait for the bus driver to signal that it is safe to cross the street.
- Before entering the street, stop at the edge of the bus, look left and right to check for traffic.
- If there is no traffic, walk, do not run, across the street.
Tip 3: Dropping items near the bus
If a student drops something under or near the bus, he or she should tell the bus attendant and/or driver. A student should never try to retrieve a dropped item near the bus, as it is imperative they stay in the driver’s line of sight.
More resources on school bus safety:
“School Bus Safety: Be Prepared, Not Scared” – US Department of Transportation
School Bus Safety Tips – Metropolitan Police Department of the District of Columbia
Traffic Safety Toolkit – National Highway Traffic Safety Administration