Sharing the Road with School Buses
- School buses make frequent stops and typically travel at slower speeds. Be patient, slow down, and be prepared to stop for them.
- Yellow lights mean the bus is going to stop – so slow down!
- Never pass a stopped school bus with its red lights flashing on the right or left—this means that students are getting on or off the bus.
- Watch for children who cross in front of the bus when the bus is stopped.
- Look for children at bus stops and those running to bus stops.
- School buses are required to stop at railroad crossings, by law—so be prepared to stop at railroad crossings if driving behind a school bus.
- Be distraction-free. Never use electronic devices while driving and be sure to actively focus on the road and your surroundings
Tips for Motorists
- Watch carefully for children near school buildings, in areas where school buses are traveling or where there are signs for school zones or bus stops.
- When school is opening in the morning and closing in the afternoon, the area around the school is a very busy and crowded. There will be many children using the crosswalk. Car drivers, bikers and in-line skaters must stop to allow people in the crosswalk to cross the street.
- Slow down. Watch for children walking in the street, especially if there are no sidewalks in the neighborhood.
- Be alert. Children arriving late for the bus may dart into the street without looking for traffic.
Tips for Students
- Look carefully to the left, right and left again if you have to cross the street. When school is opening in the morning and closing in the afternoon, the area around the school is a very busy and crowded.
- When you are waiting for the school bus, you should wait at the bus stop and stand well back from the curb.
- When you get off the bus:
- Look to the rear of the bus before you step off the bottom step. Our friends at the Pupil Transportation Safety Institute tell us that more and more motorists are passing stopped school buses on the right shoulder - where the door is.
- Take 5 giant steps straight out the bus door and out of the danger zone (areas around buses where the driver can’t see you).
- Make sure you make eye contact with the driver and wait for the driver to signal you before you cross in front of the bus.
- Never go back for anything you have left on the bus.
- Never bend down near or under the bus.
- Your school district probably has a school bus behavior policy. Your bus driver’s number one interest is your safety, so it is important to listen to your bus driver in case there are any special instructions for your bus ride. Be sure to sit quietly in your seat and limit distractions.