School Bus Safety

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.

Rules and Guidelines

Parents and students should be aware that the sole purpose of a school bus is to transport students safely to and from school. Since the school bus driver carries this heavy burden of responsibility, the school bus is considered an extension of the classroom and all Shelby County Board of Education rules apply. The following guidelines are to be followed when riding the bus. Any student not abiding by these guidelines may be subject to discipline as outlined in the DEFINITIONS AND RULES RELATING TO FORMAL DISCIPLINARY ACTION in the Shelby County Code of Conduct.

(Any violations of school bus rules will be handled by the local school administration.)

Bus Rules

  • Students will be picked-up and dropped-off at their residence or designated bus stop only.

  • Be at the bus stop at least 5 minutes prior to the designated time.

  • Once students arrive at their school bus stop, they become the responsibility of the school system.

  • Obey instructions given by the driver.

  • Be courteous to fellow pupils and the bus driver. (Do not annoy other students)

  • Horseplay, Threats, and Fighting are not permitted on or around the bus or at bus stops.

  • Remain silent when approaching and crossing railroads.

  • Talk only in a normal voice and do not use profane or obscene language.

  • Remain properly seated, do not change seats, and keep head and hands inside the bus.

  • Do not eat, chew gum, drink, smoke, or strike matches on the school bus.

  • Do not carry weapons of any kind.

  • Do not tamper with any of the equipment on the bus, especially the emergency door.

  • Do not litter the bus, or throw objects within or outside the bus.

  • Do not leave the bus except at your regular stop without written permission from the administration.

  • Do not bring glass or possible dangerous items on the bus.

  • Books, packages, coats, band instruments, and other items should not be in the aisles or in the driver compartment and should not be left on the bus. These items must be held in the child's lap and must not occupy the seat of another child.

  • Students are not allowed to transport Prescription or Non-Prescription medications on the bus except emergency medications and approved medications prescribed for self-administration.

  • Due to the possible distraction to the bus driver by the use of cell phones, beepers, or other personal electronic communication devices, the use of these items will not be allowed on the school bus. Under emergency situations (i.e., mechanical break-down of the school bus, accidents, or other possible safety issues) the use of these items may be allowed.

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.