School Bus Safety Tips for Parents
Getting Ready for School
- Allow enough time in the morning for school/bus stop.
- Have students put everything they carry in a backpack/school bag so that they won’t drop or lose things along the way.
- Have them wear bright, contrasting colors so they can be seen easily by drivers, or put a piece of high-visibility, reflective tape on coats and backpacks.
- Help your students leave the house in time to make it to their bus stop, at least 5 minutes before their scheduled pick-up time. Be sure to also account travel time for weather conditions.
Walking to the Bus Stop
- Walk your students to the bus stop. Have older students walk in groups. There is safety in numbers. Groups are easier for drivers to see.
- If they must cross the street, tell your student to look left, right and then left again. They should do the same thing at driveways and alleys. Exaggerate your head turns and narrate your actions so your students knows you are looking left, right and left.
- Remind your student to walk on the sidewalks. If there are no sidewalks, remind them to always walk against traffic and stay off the road as much as possible.
Waiting for the Bus
- Don’t let your student play running games or push and shove at the bus stop.
- Stay out of the road! Make sure your student is at least 12 feet (6 giant steps) from the road while waiting for a bus.
- If your student is waiting inside a vehicle at the bus stop, make sure that they exit the vehicle in enough time to walk up to where the group of students are waiting for the bus by the time that the bus pulls up to the stop. Absolutely NO running!
- Be sure to remind your students to line up single file, going away from the street, as the school bus approaches.
Boarding the Bus
- Warn students that if they drop something under or close to the bus, they should never go to pick it up. First, tell the drive and follow the driver’s instructions. If a student bends over to pick up an object, he or she might not be seen by the driver.
- If you would like your student to get off at another stop on the route, or go home with another family member or neighbor (i.e. grandma, aunt, etc.) that picks them up from their assigned stop, you must write a note and speak with the driver at the morning pick-up. Or, you may call the Willard Transportation Office at 417-742-2506. The driver is not allowed to let a student off at another stop without written permission.
Exiting the Bus
- Encourage your student to secure loose drawstrings or other objects that may get caught in the handrail or door of the bus stop as they exit.
- 12 feet around all sides of the bus are considered the “Danger Zone.” This is the area in which it is most difficult to see students around the school bus, so remind your students to take 6 giant steps away from the bus, so that the bus driver can see them. If they must cross in front of the bus, instruct them, as the driver will also do, to go to the front crossing arm of the bus and to look up at the driver and wait for the driver to give them the “Thumbs-Up” signal before crossing.
- If at all possible, when you meet your child at the bus stop after school, wait on the side where the child will be dropped off. Children may dash across the street, too excited to see you to remember to watch for the driver’s “Thumbs-Up” signal or traffic in the area.
School Bus Safety Tips for Students
Boarding the Bus
- Stand back 6 giant steps from the road as the bus approaches. Do not run alongside the bus while it is moving. Wait until it comes to a complete stop and the driver opens the doors to the bus. If you have to cross the street to get on the bus, you need to wait for the bus driver to give you the “Thumbs-Up” signal.
- Enter the bus in a single file line. Hold the handrail while going up and down the stairs.
- Go directly to your assigned seat.
On the Bus
- Stay in your seat while the bus is moving and keep the aisles clear for everyone’s safety. Never put your head, arms or hands out the window.
- Let the bus driver concentrate on the road. Loud noises or yelling can distract the driver from looking at the road.
Exiting the Bus
- Be aware of the street traffic around you. Drivers are required to follow certain rules of the road, but not all of them do.
- If you have to cross the street, ALWAYS cross in front of the bus. Walk to the front cross-arm of the bus, make eye contact with the bus driver to be sure that the bus driver can see you and wait for the driver to give you the “Thumbs-Up” signal.