For thousands of students in Shelby County, the school day begins and ends with a trip on the school bus. The greatest risk is not riding the bus, but approaching or leaving the bus. According to the Alabama State Department of Education, along with the National Safety Council, school buses are the safest form of ground transportation. In fact, they are about 40 times safer than the family car.
Teaching children on how to be a safe pedestrian is essential to school bus safety. Beginning with their first step as they leave the house, children must learn how to safely arrive at the school bus stop, board the bus, behave during the bus ride, and exit the bus.
Tips for a Safe Bus Ride
- Get to the bus stop at least five minutes before the bus is scheduled to arrive.
- When the bus approaches, stand at least 10 feet away from the curb, and line up away from the street.
- Wait until the bus stops, the door opens, and the driver says that it's okay before stepping onto the bus.
- If you have to cross the street in front of the bus, walk on the sidewalk or along the side of the road to a point at least 10 feet ahead of the bus, and watch for the bus driver to signal that it is safe before crossing the street.
- Be sure that the driver can see you, and you can see the bus driver.
- Use the handrails to avoid falls.
- When exiting the bus, be careful that clothing with draw strings, and book bags with straps don't get caught in the handrails or doors.
- Never walk behind the bus.
- Walk at least 10 feet away from the side of the bus.
- If you drop something near the bus, tell the bus driver. Never try to pick it up because the driver may not be able to see you.