Every fall, more than 55 million children in the US head back to school. With 13 percent of those children walking or biking to school, now is a great time to talk to kids about walking and bus safety.
School Bus Safety
The greatest risk to a child’s safety is not riding the bus but approaching or leaving one. Download our School Bus Safety Zone poster and show your children where to stand while waiting and where to walk after exiting the bus.
Other helpful school bus tips:
- Stay at least three giant steps back from the curb when waiting for the bus to approach.
- Wait until the bus comes to a complete stop before boarding or exiting, and use the handrails on the steps.
- Never walk behind a school bus. When crossing the street in front of the bus, always make eye contact with the bus driver so s/he can see you.
- Always stop and look for cars before proceeding to cross the street. Despite the brightly colored bus, warning lights and stop sign, distracted or inattentive drivers sometimes speed by a stopped bus.
- Assure your child that the school bus is the safest transportation to school. In fact, children are 70 times more likely to get to a school safely by taking a bus rather than traveling by car.
Walking to school
Talk to your children often about walking to school safely. Remind them that taking a few simple steps can become safe habits in no time.
Be Visible – Make eye contact with drivers whenever possible when crossing the street. Wear lightly colored clothing or use reflective materials, especially at night.
Stay Alert and Avoid Distractions – Your eyes and ears are the best tools for staying safe. Put the phone down when walking and don’t wear headphones or ear buds.
Follow the Rules – Obey all traffic rules, signs and signals. Use crosswalks and sidewalks whenever possible.