“The big yellow dog,” school buses, are supposed to deliver our children safely to school. But even still, during the back-to-school season — in August and September — at Children’s Medical Center, the Emergency Department sees an increase in trauma-related pedestrian, bicycle and even school bus injuries. And many of which are preventable by following some simple safety guidelines.
“School buses are designed using stringent guidelines set up by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and must meet strict crash-testing criteria,” said Claudia Romo, program manager for Injury Prevention at Children’s. Still, each school district sets regulations for its school buses, so parents should inquire at their child’s school about the types of buses used.
The following are some safety tips for parents to share with their kids before going back to school.
School Bus Safety Tips
- Teach your kids that yellow flashing lights indicate a bus is preparing to stop.
- Wait until the bus driver says it’s safe to get on board. Be respectful of the bus driver, and always follow directions.
- Keep out of the danger zone. The bus driver can’t see you if you’re standing closer than 10 feet to the bus.
- If something falls under the bus, tell the bus driver. Never try to pick it up yourself.
- While waiting for the bus, stay in a safe place away from the street.
- When you get on or off the bus, look for the bus safety lights and make sure they are flashing.
- STOP and look before hurrying away from the bus as you exit at the end of the day.
- When the bus driver says it is safe to cross the street, remember to cross in front of the bus.
Bus Safety is Everyone’s Concern
Help keep our kids safe by reporting the following to the appropriate school or school district.
- A school bus driver engaged in a dangerous activity such as tailgating, ignoring traffic signs or signals, or texting while driving
- Dangerous conditions at a bus stop
- Buses exhibiting maintenance problems