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School starts as soon as tomorrow or, at most, in a few days.  We thought now is a good time to remind both students and adults about being safe around school buses.  Let’s start with a few facts.

Safest Way to Get to School

Students are about 70 times more likely to get to school safely when taking a school bus instead of traveling by car according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.  That’s because school buses are the most regulated vehicles on the road.  They’re designed to be safer than passenger vehicles in preventing crashes and injuries. In every state, stop-arm laws protect children from other motorists.

Kids at the School Bus

Kids should arrive at the bus stop at least five minutes before the bus is scheduled to arrive. Visit the bus stop and show your child where to wait for the bus: at least three giant steps (six feet) away from the curb. Remind them that the bus stop is not a place to run or play.

Getting On and Off Safely

When the school bus arrives, kids should wait until the bus comes to a complete stop, the door opens, and the driver says it’s okay before approaching the bus door. Use the handrails to avoid falling.

Use Caution Around the Bus

Kids should never walk behind a school bus. If children must cross the street in front of the bus, tell him/her to walk on a sidewalk or along the side of the street to a place at least five giant steps (10 feet) in front of the bus before crossing. They should also make eye contact with the bus driver before crossing to make sure the driver can see him/her. Kids drops something near the school bus, like a ball or book, the safest thing is for your child to tell the bus driver right away. They should not try to pick up the item, because the driver might not be able to see him/her.

Drivers Around School Buses

Make school bus transportation safer for everyone by following these practices:

  • When backing out of a driveway or leaving a garage, watch out for children walking or bicycling to school.
  • When driving in neighborhoods with school zones, watch out for young people who may be thinking about getting to school, but may not be thinking of getting there safely.
  • Slow down. Watch for children walking in the street, especially if there are no sidewalks in neighborhood.
  • Watch for children playing and congregating near bus stops.
  • Be alert. Children arriving late for the bus may dart into the street without looking for traffic.
  • Learn and obey the school bus laws in your state, as well as the "flashing signal light system" that school bus drivers use to alert motorists of pending actions:
    • Yellow flashing lights indicate the bus is preparing to stop to load or unload children. Motorists should slow down and prepare to stop their vehicles.
    • Red flashing lights and extended stop arms indicate the bus has stopped and children are getting on or off. Motorists must stop their cars and wait until the red lights stop flashing, the extended stop-arm is withdrawn, and the bus begins moving before they can start driving again.

Dean and Draper

We hope you will find the School Bus Safety tips both useful and helpful.  When you have questions about your insurance, we are the source for useful and helpful answers.

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The recommendation(s), advice and contents of this material are provided for informational purposes only and do not purport to address every possible legal obligation, hazard, code violation, loss potential or exception to good practice. Dean & Draper Insurance Agency specifically disclaims any warranty or representation that acceptance of any recommendations or advice contained herein will make any premises, property or operation safe or in compliance with any law or regulation. Under no circumstances should this material or your acceptance of any recommendations or advice contained herein be construed as establishing the existence or availability of any insurance coverage with Dean & Draper Insurance Agency. By providing this information to you, Dean & Draper Insurance Agency does not assume (and specifically disclaims) any duty, undertaking or responsibility to you.  The decision to accept or implement any recommendation(s) or advice contained in this material must be made by you.

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Source: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration