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School Bus Safety

Children are at greatest risk when they are getting on or off the school bus. Most of the children killed in bus-related crashes are pedestrians, five to seven years old, who are hit by the school bus or by motorists illegally passing a stopped bus.

Drivers must take special care in neighborhoods, near schools and bus stops to be on the look out for children.

Simple rules for children to follow:

  • Get to the bus stop at least five minutes early. Plan ahead so you don’t have to be in a rush.
  • If you cross a street on the way to the bus stop, be sure you look left-right-left to see if cars are coming before you step off the curb.
  • Do not expect cars to stop for you. They may not see you. They may be driving too fast.
  • Avoid horse-play, pushing and shoving. These actions can make you stumble or fall into the street.
  • While waiting for the bus, line up at least three giant steps away from the street.
  • Wait until the driver tells you it is safe to board the bus.
  • Never walk behind the bus. Walk at least five giant steps from the side of the bus. Make sure the driver sees you. If you drop something near the bus, tell the driver.
  • Watch that your backpack or clothing does not have straps or cords that can get caught in the bus handrails or doors.
  • Follow the driver’s instructions. Stay seated. Be quiet so you can hear.

School buses are a safe mode of transportation. Most injuries occur because motorists do not use caution.

Drivers are responsible to follow the law and use care to avoid hitting children crossing the street or boarding/alighting school buses. Texas law states:

  • Drivers must stop for school buses that are stopped and have activated their alternating red flashing lights.
  • Drivers should not proceed until the school bus resumes motion or the signal is no longer activated.
  • If a road is divided only by a left-turning lane, drivers on both sides of the roadway must stop for school buses with alternating red flashing lights activated.
  • If a road is divided by an intervening space or physical barrier, only motorists going in the same direction as the bus are required to stop.
  • School buses stop at all railroad crossings. If you are following, be prepared to stop.

School bus passenger safety takes action by motorists and children:

  • Motorists must be responsible and alert.
  • Children must be aware of traffic and observe safety rules.
  • Be careful
  • Follow the rules
  • Stay safe
  • Avoid injury

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