School Bus Safety
For approximately 1050 students district wide, the school day begins and ends with a trip on a school bus for most. School bus transportation is safe. In fact, school buses are safer than cars! Even so, however injuries involving school bus passengers can happen. The greatest risk to students is not riding the bus. The greatest risk is approaching or leaving the bus. Before children go back to school, or start school for the first time, it is essential that adults and children know the basic school bus safety rules.
Follow these easy 10 School Bus Safety Rules
- Wear bright colors so the bus driver easily sees you
- Get to the bus stop at least 5 minutes before the bus is due.
- Line up quietly in single file away from the road, and never come toward the bus until the door opens.
- Stay out of the bus danger zone, which is 12 feet around the bus on all sides
- Use hand rails to get on and off the bus
- Talk quietly and stay seated facing forward on the bus with seat belt buckled.
- Never stick your hands, head or feet out of the windows.
- Keep the aisles clear.
- Pay attention to the bus driver and follow the driver instructions.
- Don't push, yell or throw things while at the bus stop or on the bus.
Walking to the Bus Stop
It's best to wear bright colors so the bus driver easily sees you. Always use the side walk while walking to the bus stop. If there is no sidewalk, walk on the left side of the roadway facing traffic. Always walk, don't run. Go to the bus stop about five minutes before the bus is scheduled to arrive. While at the bus stop, wait quietly in a safe place well away from the road.
Waiting at the Bus Stop
Arrive at the bus stop at least 5 minutes before bus is due. Stay out of the way of traffic, stand at least 12 feet (6 giant steps) from the road while waiting for the bus. Be polite at the bus stop. Don't play running games, or push and shove, or bother others at the bus stop. When the bus approaches, stand at least 12 feet away from the curb, and line up away from the street.
Boarding The Bus
While Boarding the Bus Form a line. Don't push or shove. Enter the bus in a line, with younger students in front. Move along and use the hand rail when you are entering the bus. Watch your step. Go directly to your seat and sit down and buckle up. Don't wait for a friend to get on before you take a seat. If a student should drop something outside the bus, they should not stop to pick it up. Instead, they should tell the driver and follow the driver's instructions.
If they bend over to pick up a dropped object, they might not be seen by the driver and could be hurt if the driver pulls away from the stop.
Riding the Bus
Riding on Bus Students should talk quietly, be courteous to the driver and follow the driver's instructions. Students should stay seated and safety belts buckled up during the entire bus ride and keep the aisles clear. Do not put your books, bags, legs, arms or bodies in the aisle. If the driver lets you open the windows, keep your hands, arms and head inside. Don't throw things out of the windows. Animals, including pets on leashes, in boxes or in cages are not allowed on the bus. Share your seat - Don't save a spot for a friend, but keep the seat open for anyone who wants to sit down. You'll have plenty of time to talk to your friends once you get to school. Always speak quietly on the bus so the driver will not be distracted. Always be silent when a bus comes to a railroad crossing so the driver can hear if a train is coming. Never throw things on the bus or out the windows. Feet should be directly in front of you on the floor and book bags should be kept on your lap. Never play with the emergency exits. If there is an emergency, listen to the driver and follow instructions. Hands should be kept to yourself at all times while riding on the bus. Fighting and picking on others creates a dangerous bus ride.
Exiting the Bus
Be sure to secure loose drawstrings and other objects that may get caught in the handrail or door of the bus as you are exiting. Students should look both ways for pedestrians or bike riders before stepping off the bus. If you drop something near the bus, tell the bus driver before you attempt to pick it up, so they will know where you are. Respect the "Danger Zone" which surrounds all sides of the bus. The "Danger Zone" is twelve feet wide on all sides of the bus. Always remain 12 steps away from the bus to be out of the "Danger Zone" and where the driver can see you. Never go behind the bus. Never speak to strangers at the bus stop and never get into a car with a stranger. Always go straight home and tell you parents if a stranger tries to talk to you or pick you up. Students are only allowed to get off the bus at their assigned bus stop. The driver is not allowed to let a child off at another stop without written permission. If a parent meets their child at the bus stop after school, they should wait on the side where the child will be dropped off, not across the street. Children can be excited and may dash across the street and forget the safety rules.
Children leaving the bus should walk straight ahead, away from the bus, for at least 12 feet before turning in either direction. The front of the bus is the most dangerous area. Within the bright red zone at the front of the bus are a number of "blind spots" in which the driver cannot see a small child or one who is stooping to pick up a dropped article. It is important for young children to understand that all of the red area is dangerous because the driver may not be able to see them. The large red arrow at the top right shows the area of special danger from passing cars and other vehicles. It is against the law for a car to pass a stopped school bus, however, an occasional driver violates the law. Since the large bus hides children from the sight of a driver passing from the rear, this situation is particularly dangerous. A third area of special danger is the bright red area at the right rear of the bus. Small or stooping children in this danger area (from the right rear wheel to the back of the bus)cannot be seen by the driver. The safety rule for this danger zone is very simple: Children should stay out of it at all times.
Tips For Motorists
Warning Lights 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 the neighborhood.
Be alert. Children arriving late for the bus may dart into the street with out looking for traffic.
Learn and obey the California school bus laws. Learn the "flashing signal light system" that school bus drivers use to alert motorists of pending actions:
Yellow or Amber flashing lights indicate that the bus is preparing to stop and red light is about to come on, 200 ft, before the stop designated a red light stop in order to load or unload children. Motorists should slow down and prepare to stop their vehicles.
Red flashing lights front and back and extended stop arms indicate that the bus has stopped, (note: not all buses are equipped with amber warning lights so red lights are still used as warning) and that children are getting on or off. Motorists must stop their cars and wait until the red lights stop flashing, and the extended stop sign is withdrawn ( if equipped), before they can start driving again.
- if the red lights are flashing there is a chance that there will be children crossing the road. If children in Pre - kindergarten, kindergarten, thru 8th are crossing the road upon which the bus is stopped, the driver is required by the vehicle code to cross them using the red light warning system and a hand held stop sign.
- High School students may walk across the road in front of the bus under the protection of the red lights, but the driver may choose to escort them across the road.
- The middle of the highway as a danger place for students as well Driver to be. Often drivers of other vehicles do not stop as required by law and run through the school bus red light warning system while the bus is stopped to load or unload students. Since this can be a danger when ever possible KTJUSD setup bus stops on the side of the road that children live.
- We know that it seems that the big yellow Buses are always in the way but remember the bus are carrying precious irreplaceable cargo. Please help us insure the safety of our students by stopping when you come up to a bus stop with red light warning system flashing.