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Sandy Grinnell, Staff Contributor
Sandy Grinnell, Staff Contributor
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Encourage Bus Safety as Students Return to School

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It may not feel like summer is over, but for most Florida students summer vacation ends in about two weeks. As you take the kids shopping for new clothes and school supplies, it’s the perfect time to refresh their memories about their safety getting on and off the school bus.

Although it’s a state law that drivers must stop for a stopped school bus, we all know that there are drivers out there who will continue to pass the bus. Remind your children that not all drivers are looking out for them and they should never assume a car or truck is going to stop to let them cross the street.

The National Safety Council suggests the following rules for students riding the bus:

Getting on the school bus

  • When waiting for the bus, stay away from traffic and avoid roughhousing or other behavior that can lead to carelessness. Do not stray onto streets, alleys or private property.
  • Line up away from the street or road as the school bus approaches.
  • Wait until the bus has stopped and the door opens before stepping onto the roadway.
  • Use the hand rail when stepping onto the bus.

Behavior on the bus

  • When on the bus, find a seat and sit down. Loud talking or other noise can distract the bus driver and is not allowed.
  • Never put head, arms or hands out of the window.
  • Keep aisles clear — books or bags are tripping hazards and can block the way in an emergency.
  • Before you reach your stop, get ready to leave by getting your books and belongings together.
  • At your stop, wait for the bus to stop completely before getting up from your seat. Then, walk to the front door and exit, using the hand rail.

Getting off the school bus

  • If you have to cross the street in front of the bus, walk at least ten feet ahead of the bus along the side of the road, until you can turn around and see the driver.
  • Make sure that the driver can see you.
  • Wait for a signal from the driver before beginning to cross.
  • When the driver signals, walk across the road, keeping an eye out for sudden traffic changes.
  • Do not cross the center line of the road until the driver has signaled that it is safe for you to begin walking.
  • Stay away from the bus’ rear wheels at all times.

Correct way to cross the street

  • Children should always stop at the curb or the edge of the road and look left, then right, and then left again before crossing.
  • They should continue looking in this manner until they are safely across.
  • If students’ vision is blocked by a parked car or other obstacle, they should move out to where drivers can see them and they can see other vehicles — then stop, and look left-right-left again.