School Bus Safety

Friday, August 09 at 10:10 AM
Category: Arvest News

Throughout the next month or so schools in our communities are welcoming students back from their summer vacation. Whether you are a parent, child, school administrator, school bus driver or a concerned citizen, the following tips will help keep our students safe.

Bus Stop. Your child's bus stop should be in an area that is well lit, easily accessible and away from traffic. If it is not, then contact school administrators or the school board to request the stop be moved. If you live in an area where there is heavy snowfall, then make sure the stop is sufficiently free of snow, ice and related debris. If at all possible, do not leave your child alone at the bus stop.  Wait until other children arrive to wait with your child. Make sure your child knows how to handle themselves if approached by strangers.

Clothing. Children should wear brightly colored clothing, especially if waiting for the bus before sunrise or getting home after dark. Removable reflective tape on their backpacks and outer garments, including hats and coats, can provide an extra measure of visibility and safety.

Boarding. Teach your children to only move forward to board the school bus when it has come to a complete stop and the driver has opened the door. Children should line up single file as they await entrance.

Seating. Virtually all school buses do not come equipped with seatbelts, nor are seats strong enough to resist impact in the event of a crash. Teach your children to be seated at all times and face forward. Coach them in various brace positions to prepare for the possibility of an accident. Also make sure they are aware of alternative exit strategies including using the emergency door or windows.

Exiting. When exiting the bus, children must move far away from the vehicle to allow the driver to see they have cleared the bus and are safely away from traffic. Instruct your children to stay away from the wheels of the bus at all times.

Awareness. Teach your children to be aware of other traffic in the area. Do not assume drivers will stop for them or even see them. If children must cross the street, then they are to do so only with the driver directing them. Have them constantly looking both ways as they cross the street until they are safely on the other side.

Every year children die or are injured in school bus-related accidents. Many die as a result of a collision involving their bus and another vehicle, while others are killed or injured as they fail to clear the area around the bus or are hit by oncoming traffic.

You can keep your child safe by raising their awareness of potential hazards. The rest of us can make school bus safety a priority by obeying the rules of the road. Let's make this school year a safe one.

Tags: Community Support
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