School Bus Danger Zones:
School buses are over 2000 times safer than the family car. Children are hurt outside the school bus more often than inside. The child who bends over to retrieve something they dropped, or who walks too close to the bus while crossing the road, needs to be aware that every yellow school bus is surrounded by a danger zone.
- They should take five giant steps as soon as they leave the bus.
- They should establish eye contact with the driver when crossing in front of the bus and proceed only when the driver nods approval.
- The most difficult thing to teach children is not to go back to pick up items they've dropped near the bus or left on the bus.
The following information is from the National Association for Pupil Transportation
Students riding a school bus should always:
- Arrive at the bus stop five minutes early.
- Stand at least 5 giant steps (10 feet) away from the edge of the road.
- Wait until the bus stops, the door opens, and the driver says it’s okay before stepping onto the bus.
- Be careful that clothing with drawstrings and book bags with straps or dangling objects do not get caught in the handrail or door when exiting the bus.
- Check both ways for cars before stepping off the bus.
Crossing students should:
- Walk in front of the bus; never walk behind the bus.
- Walk on the sidewalk or along the side of the road to a point at least 10 giant steps ahead of the bus.
- Be sure the bus driver can see them, and they can see the bus driver.
- Wait for the driver’s signal to cross
Things Kids Should know About School Bus Safety:
- The bus driver and others cannot see you if you are standing closer than 10 feet to the bus. Stay out of the danger zone!
- If something falls under or near the bus, tell the 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.
- Be alert to traffic. When you get on or off the bus, look left, right, left before you enter or cross the street.
- When the driver says it is safe to cross the street, remember to CROSS IN FRONT of the bus.
- Stay in your seat and sit quietly so that the driver is not distracted.
- Some school buses now have seat belts. If you have seat belts on your school bus, be sure to learn to use the seat belt correctly.
Things Parents Should know About School Bus Safety:
- School buses are the safest form of highway transportation.
- The most dangerous part of the school bus ride is getting on and off the bus.
- Pedestrian fatalities (while loading and unloading school buses) account for approximately three times as many school bus-related fatalities, when compared to school bus occupant fatalities.
- The loading and unloading area is called the “Danger Zone”
- The “Danger Zone” is the area on all sides of the bus where children are in the most danger of not being seen by the driver (ten feet in front of the bus where the driver may be too high to see a child, ten feet on either side of the bus where a child may be in the driver’s blind spot, and the area behind the bus).
- Half of the pedestrian fatalities in school bus-related crashes are children between 5 and 7 years old.
Young children are most likely to be struck because they:
- Hurry to get on and off the bus
- Act before they think and have little experience with traffic
- Assume motorists will see them and will wait for them to cross the street
- Don’t always stay within the bus driver’s sight.