School Bus Safety Rules

Riding to school for the very first time on a big, yellow school bus is practically a rite of passage for elementary children. While this is certainly an exciting moment for your child, there are a few safety tips all parents should review before that bus rolls to a stop on the first day of school.

Students who ride school buses are actually 50 times more likely to arrive safely at school than they are if riding in car, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. But school buses do come with their own risks.

As one family found out in this apparent abduction attempt, parents can never be too safe when it comes to waiting alongside their children at the bus stop. Younger children between the ages of 5 and 7 especially should be accompanied by an adult at both pickup and drop-off each day, according to this article from SheKnows. This can help avoid abductions, as well as bus-related accidents.

Here are a few more general rules to keep in mind when it comes to school bus safety:

  1. According to, it’s a good idea to be outside and waiting for the bus about five minutes before it’s scheduled to arrive. This is because rushing to get to the bus could result in decreased awareness and increased danger.
  2. Be sure that your child is appropriately dressed for the weather and for bus safety, including his backpack. Backpacks shouldn’t be too big and straps shouldn’t be dangling so that they could get caught in bus doors, railings or get stepped on.
  3. Kids need to stay out of the road — at least six feet back — until the bus comes to a complete stop and the driver motions and opens the doors for children to enter. Even when a driver is motioning, it’s important to still be on the lookout for traffic if crossing the street.
  4. Never go behind a bus. If something happens to get dropped in the road, let the drive know. He may not be able to see children behind or immediately next to the bus.
  5. Stress the importance of listening to the bus driver’s instructions while on the bus. At railroad crossings, for example, drivers will expect children to be silent so they can listen for trains.
  6. Remind your child to follow the same rules for getting off the school bus. They should wait until the bus is stopped until leaving their seat, and then wait for the driver’s signal if crossing the street.

Following these simple safety rules can help keep children safe to and from school. It’s not a terrible idea, either, to get into the habit of thanking the bus driver, which shows appreciation for the hard work she does in keeping kids safe every day.

Michelle Stein

Michelle Stein is a journalist who lives in the Midwest with 3 kids. After quitting her newspaper reporting job more than a year ago, she now works from home as a freelance writer.

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