Today marks the fourth day of National School Bus Safety Week, October 20–24, 2014, an annual public education event designed to promote school bus safety.
School Bus Safety Tips for Parents
As a parent, you are always working to keep your child safe. Talk with your child about how to safely cross the street and behave on the school bus.
Tip 1: Teach your child how to safely cross the street
When walking with your child or children in public, set consistent safety standards, such as:
- Always look left and right before crossing the street
- Walk, don’t run, when crossing the street
- Only cross at crosswalks when the green walking man is flashing
- Hold small children’s hands when crossing the street
- When passing a stopped car or bus, make eye contact with the driver to ensure they see you
Tip 2: Set behavior standards in the car/on public transportation
Part of ensuring your child’s safety on the school bus is setting clear and consistent behavior rules during all forms of transportation. Setting clear behavior standards for your child while traveling by car and public transportation will carry over to their behavior on the school bus.
Teach your child that these rules are to help the driver focus on the road and ensure the safety of everyone on the vehicle.
- After entering the vehicle, go directly to your seat
- Stay in your seat and sit quietly
- Only enter or exit the bus when a supervising adult tells you it’s safe
Tip 3: Communicate with your school bus driver and attendant
If you have any concerns about your child’s experience on the school bus, it is helpful to communicate with your school bus driver and attendant. OSSE DOT’s experienced staff receives annual safety training and will be happy to work with you to ensure your child receives safe, efficient transportation to and from school.
If you have concerns about your child’s safety on the school bus that go beyond working with the bus driver and/or attendant, you can reach OSSE DOT’s Parent Resource Center at (202)576-5000.
Tomorrow’s topic: Emergencies on the School Bus.
More resources on school bus safety:
Transportation Handbooks for Parents and Guardians – OSSE Division of Student Transportation
Safety Tips for Motorists – National Safety Council
Driving Laws by State – AAA Digest of Motor Laws
“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