Remember school bus safety

Friday, August 31, 2012

School started this week. Depending on the age of your child, he or she either went bounding out to the school bus, aquiver with anticipation, or shuffled out to the bus, lamenting the end of summer. So, take heed: Those big, yellow school buses are on the road. Let’s make sure our children are safe. Yes, what you do and what you teach your children can make buses safer.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, drivers should:

• Watch out for children walking or bicycling to school when backing out of a driveway or leaving a garage.

• When driving in neighborhoods with school zones, watch out for children on their way to school.

• Slow down. Watch for children walking in the street. Watch for children playing and congregating near bus stops.

• Be alert. Children may dart into the street without looking.

• Learn and obey the school bus laws in your state.

Children can also be part of creating a safe environment by:

• Getting to the bus stop at least five minutes before the bus is scheduled to arrive.

• When the bus approaches, stand at least three giant steps (6 feet) away from the curb and line up away from the street.

• Wait until the bus stops, the door opens and the driver says it’s OK before stepping onto the bus.

• To cross the street in front of the bus, walk to a point at least five giant steps ahead of the bus before crossing.

• Use the handrails to avoids falls. When exiting the bus, be careful that clothing doesn’t get caught in the handrails or doors.

• Never walk behind the bus.

• Walk at least three giant steps away from the side of the bus.

Also, teach your children to respect their bus driver. Drivers work hard to get children to school safely, and children who listen and obey drivers’ instructions make their job infinitely easier. A well-behaved child on the bus is the biggest thanks you can give to your bus driver. But saying “thank you” to the people who deliver your child to school and home safely every day wouldn’t hurt, either.

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