School bus safety
School buses are actually among the safest vehicles on the road, especially in terms of protecting their precious cargo. Children are at the greatest risk when they’re getting on and off the bus.
School buses are equipped with special mirrors installed at the front and STOP arms to help keep children safe. But safety equipment alone can’t guarantee accidents never happen—motorists, parents and kids all play a role in school bus safety.
School bus safety rules
- Flashing yellow lights on the school bus indicate that the bus is getting ready to stop and load or unload. This means that you need to slow down and get ready to stop.
- Flashing red lights indicate that the bus has stopped and that children are getting on or off. It is illegal to pass a school bus from either direction once it’s stopped and has its lights activated unless there is a physical barrier (such as a median) between your vehicle and the bus.
- As soon as the bus driver turns on the flashing red lights, drivers coming from both directions must immediately stop at least five metres from the bus and remain stopped until the lights stop flashing, the STOP arm folds away and the bus begins to move.
- Be extremely cautious around school buses and remember that young children are prone to sudden movements.
Educate your children about bus safety etiquette:
- Teach them to stay away from the three danger zones – the front, sides and back of the bus by staying at least three metres (10 feet) away from the school bus.
- If children must cross the street, they must never cross behind the school bus, they should seek the driver’s permission, take five giant steps past the front of the bus and make sure the driver has seen them before crossing.
- Teach them to be mindful of other traffic as well before crossing the road.
- If children drop something near or under the school bus, they should never attempt to retrieve it without the driver’s permission.
- Ensure that they get to the bus stop at least five minutes before the school bus arrives.
- Teach them to never run after the school bus if they arrive late at the bus stop.
- Teach them to take five giant steps away from the road when the school bus is approaching.
- Always wait untill the school bus has come to a complete stop before boarding the bus.
- Line up single file to board the bus.
- Refrain from pushing or shoving on the bus.
- Use the handrail to get on and off the bus.
- Do not throw things.
- Don't eat or drink on the bus.
- Always listen to the school bus driver.
- Stay seated until the bus has come to a complete stop.
- Get off the bus in a single file.