Although school buses represent the safest form of highway transportation, there are a number of safety factors both students and drivers should be aware of. With the new school year now underway and hoping to ensure that it remains safe and happy, Sheriff Mike Tregre encourages caution whenever school buses are present.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), over the past 11 years, an average of 35 school-age children died in school bus-related accidents each year.
“Children are often eager to get off the school bus because they are excited to tell their parents about all of the fun they had at school that day,” said Sheriff Tregre.
“It is crucial that parents re-enforce the school bus safety rules children learn at school.” Sheriff Tregre also suggests that parents drive their child’s bus route with them and practice the proper safety precautions.
Throughout a child’s life, there are a number of situations where parents will be unable to exercise control. However, there are numerous precautions they can take to help ensure their child enjoys a safe ride to and from school. Sheriff Tregre has some safety measures he encourages all parents to discuss with their children.
- Always arrive at the bus stop early.
- Prior to boarding, wait until the bus has come to a complete stop, the door opens, and the bus driver says that it is OK to board.
- Always walk on the sidewalk when preparing to cross the street near a bus. Make eye contact with the driver so that you are sure he or she sees you.
- Never walk behind the bus.
- If you are walking beside the bus, walk at least three giant steps away.
- Take extra precautions to make sure that clothing with drawstrings and book bags do not get caught in the hand rail or door.
- Never stop to pick something up that you have dropped when a bus is stopped. Wait until the bus has driven off to avoid not being seen by the driver.
- Remember that children are unpredictable in their actions. Take extreme caution when traveling in a school zone.
- If there are no sidewalks, drive cautiously. Be more alert to the possibility of children walking in the road.
- Be more aware of children playing near school bus stops.
- Slow down and prepare to stop whenever you see yellow school bus lights flashing.
- Never pass a school bus when there are flashing red lights. This is a sign that children are getting off the bus.
- Learn and obey the school bus laws in your state.
Sheriff Tregre concluded, “Let’s make this school year especially safe. Practice these school bus safety measures for your protection and safety, and make this school year as enjoyable as possible.”