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School Bus Safety

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Bucks County Commissioners Offer Tips for Student, Parent and Motorist School Bus Safety

     After the relaxing summer months and all throughout the year thousands of Bucks County children  will either ride a school bus for the first time or return to a bus after a summer off.

In an effort to educate children, their parents, and motorists about the potential dangers of educational transportation, the Bucks County Commissioners are offering a check list of helpful tips to ensure the safety of all involved. Also, they advise everyone that almost two-thirds of school bus fatalities occur outside the bus.

“We urge our school children exercise caution in and around their buses,” Commissioner Chairman Charles H. Martin advised. “We ask parents to take a few moments to review these suggestions with their children as an important preventive step.”

The following are some school bus safety tips:

  • Leave home early. Rushing to meet the bus can lead to safety mistakes;
  • Walk on the sidewalks whenever possible;
  • Always use the bus handrail to avoid falls on the stairs;
  • Do not scream or make loud noises that might distract the driver;
  • Never put your head, arms, or legs out the window of the bus;
  • Wait for the bus to stop completely before you stand up in your seat;
  • Walk away from the bus after you exit;
  • Stay away from the wheels of the bus at all times, especially the back ones where it’s difficult for the driver to see you.

In addition to the student precautions, motorists are urged to exercise heightened caution around school buses. A list of tips offered by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration includes:

  • Watch for children traveling to school while driving in neighborhoods with school zones. They are unpredictable in their actions, and it is your responsibility to anticipate and prepare to react to what they may do;
  • If there are no sidewalks in the neighborhood, drive slowly and watch for children walking in the street;
  • Watch for large gatherings near school bus stops;
  • Be alert. Children arriving late for the bus may dart into the street without looking for traffic;
  • Learn the flashing light system that school bus drivers use to alert motorists about stopping:
    • Yellow flashing lights mean the bus is preparing to stop and load or unload children. Motorists need to slow down and prepare to stop.
    • Red flashing lights and an extended stop arm mean the bus has stopped and children are boarding or exiting the bus. Motorists must come to a complete stop a safe distance from the bus and wait until the red lights stop flashing, the arm is retracted, and the bus begins moving before they start driving again.