Parent Tips - Keeping Children Safe on the Bus


  • Supervise children to make sure they get to the stop on time, wait far away from the road, and avoid rough play. 
  • Teach your child to ask the driver for help if he drops something near the bus. If a child stoops to pick up something, the driver cannot see him. Then he could be hit by the bus. A book bag or backpack helps keep loose items together. 
  • Make sure clothing has no loose drawstrings and backpack straps are short, so they don’t get caught in the handrail or bus door. 
  • Encourage safe school bus loading and unloading. 
  • If you think a bus stop is in a dangerous place, talk with your school office or transportation director about changing the location.

What to teach your child  

  • When loading, stay away from the danger zone and wait for the driver’s signal. Board the bus in a single file. 
  • When unloading, look before stepping off the bus to be sure no cars are passing on the shoulder. Move away from the bus. 
  • Before crossing the street, take 5 “giant” steps out from the front of the bus, or until the driver’s face can be seen. Wait for the driver to signal that it’s safe to cross. 
  • Look left, right, then left again when coming to the edge of the bus to make sure traffic is stopped. Continue to watch for traffic when crossing.

Tips for motorists  

What is the most dangerous part of the school bus ride? The bus stop!  

Children are at greatest risk when they are getting on or off the school bus. Most of the children killed in bus-related crashes are pedestrians, five to seven years old, who are getting on or off the bus. They are hit by the school bus or by motorists illegally passing a stopped bus.  

In neighborhoods, near schools, and at bus stops, drivers need to take special care because children do not behave like adults. Important reminders of typical behavior are listed below.  

  • They become easily distracted and may start across the street without warning. 
  • They don’t understand the danger of moving vehicles. 
  • They can’t judge vehicle speed or distance. 
  • They may be blocked from view by the bus. 
  • Most importantly, children expect vehicles to stop for them at the school bus stop.

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