Staying Safe On, Around School Buses
South Carolina Department of Public Safety offers safety tips for students, parents.
With Richland County students returning to school on Thursday, now’s the time to make sure you and your child know how to stay safe on and around the school buses.
The South Carolina Department of Public Safety recommends a number of tips for parents and children alike regarding bus safety.
When getting your child ready for school, have them put everything they carry in a backpack or school bag, so they won’t drop things along the way to their bus or on their walk to school.
Have your kids wear bright, contrasting colors so drivers will be more able to see them. Watch the time and make sure your kids leave home on time so they can walk to the bus stop and arrive before the bus arrives. Running to the bus stop can be dangerous.
Walk your younger children to the bus stop. Older children should walk in groups. Traveling in groups will make it easier for car and bus drivers to see children.
Be sure your kids know to walk on the sidewalks whenever possible – if there’s no sidewalk, they should stay out of the street.
If there’s no choice but to walk in the street, make sure they know to walk single file, facing traffic, and staying as close to the edge of the road as they can.
Demonstrate for your kids the proper way to look for traffic: Stop, look left, right and then left again before crossing the street. Tell them to do the same things at driveways and alleys, to be aware of and avoid vehicles backing out or pulling out.
When they get to the bus stop, kids should be at least 10 feet (5 giant step) from the roadway while waiting for the bus, so that they are out of the way of traffic. Before school starts, have your children practice taking 5 giant steps, so they know how far they should be away from the roadway.
Tell your kids to never run around the bus stop or push and shove other kid at the bus stop.
If your child drops something when getting on or off the bus, tell them to tell the driver immediately. When a child bends over to pick something up, they often disappear from a driver’s line of sight and could be hurt when the bus pulls away from the stop. After telling the driver about the dropped item, they should follow the driver’s instructions.
Drivers often try to sneak by buses, so tell your child to look to the right before they get off the bus.
When the bus arrives, wait until it comes to a complete stop, the doors open and the driver says it’s okay to get on before boarding.
Use handrails to avoid falling. Loose clothing or drawstrings can get caught in the door or handrail of the bus, causing injury or even death when the bus door closes or the bus pulls away. Teach your children to secure loose clothing or drawstrings.
Give your child a note or follow your school ́s procedures if you would like for the child to get off at a stop other than the one they are assigned. The driver isn ́t allowed to let a child off at another stop without written permission.
If you meet your child at the bus stop after school, wait on the side where the child will be dropped off, not across the street. Children can be so excited at seeing you after school that they dash across the street and forget the safety rules.
Children should talk quietly, be courteous to the driver and follow the driver ́s instructions.
Children should stay seated during the entire bus ride and keep the aisles clear. Never stick anything, includes heads, hands and arms, out the bus window.