School Bus Safety
Parents can play a critical role in keeping their children safe by coaching them to use good safety practices when waiting for a bus and getting on or off the bus. Buses are engineered to keep children as safe as possible, with strict structural strength standards and designs that protect children in the event of a crash or rollover. But that protection is only available inside the bus, and most accidents occur when children are entering or exciting.
According to the Illinois State Board of Education, most children are injured because they hurry to get on or off the bus, act before they think or look, have little experience with traffic, assume motorists will see them and don’t always stay within the bus driver’s sight.
Parents are encouraged to teach their children to get on and off the school bus safely by:
- Staying away from the “danger zone,” when loading. The danger zone is the area approximately 10 feet wide on all sides of the bus where children are most in danger of being hit;
- When unloading, look before stepping off the bus to be sure no cars are passing on the shoulder (side of the road). Move away from the bus;
- Before crossing the street, take five “giant steps” out from the front of the bus (Illinois has the school bus crossing arm) until you see the driver’s face. The driver will signal you when it is safe
- Look left-right-left when coming to the edge of the bus to make sure traffic is stopped. Continue to watch for traffic when crossing.
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