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Bus Safety

The Danger zone diagram of navigating around a school bus

The DANGER ZONE is the area immediately surrounding the school bus. It extends up to 30 feet in front and 10 feet behind the bus, and 10 feet from the sides. The area of greatest danger is immediately in front of the front bumper and right rear wheel. Teach students "If you can touch the bus, you are TOO CLOSE," and "If you can't see the driver as you cross the street in front of the bus, you are TOO CLOSE."

Students should always cross at least 10 feet in front of the bus. Students should wait for the driver's signal to cross. Students should look both ways for traffic before crossing the street, and never stop to pick up anything that falls in front of the bus bumper or wheels. Students should always watch for moving vehicles when exiting a stopped school bus. Vehicles do not always stop for a school bus with red lights flashing, even though it is the law.

Safety Tips for Parents

  • Have children put everything they carry in a backpack or school bag so they won’t drop things along the way. Secure any loose drawstrings, etc. so they won’t catch on the handrails or bus door. Always use the handrail when loading or unloading.
  • Review bus rules with them and encourage safe behavior.
  • Have them wear bright, contrasting colors so drivers can see them more easily during early hours.
  • Make sure they leave home on time so they can be at the stop 5 minutes before bus arrival. Running to the stop is dangerous, never run to catch the bus.
  • Walk them to the stop, have older children walk in groups. There is safety in numbers and groups are easier for drivers to see.
  • Practice good pedestrian behavior: walk on sidewalks, stay out of the street, if you must walk in the street, face the traffic & stay close to the edge of road.
  • When crossing the street look left, right, and then left again. Do the same thing at driveways and alleys, as well as crossing the street to load the bus. Parents, please be sure to teach this behavior to children.
  • Arrive at least 5 minutes before bus is scheduled.
  • Don’t let your child play running games or push & shove at bus stops. It is dangerous near traffic.
  • Make sure your child stands at least 10 feet (5 giant steps) from the road while waiting for the bus. The child will then be out of the way of traffic. Practice 5 giant steps with your children so they become familiar with 10 feet.
  • If you are a passing motorist be sure to watch for stopping school buses. Do not pass the bus if the overhead red loading lights are flashing. It is unsafe to do so and could result in either injuring a child or a heavy fine. If there is no median separating the lanes you are required by law to stop no matter how many lanes of traffic.

Tips for Getting On & Off the Bus

  • Wait for the bus driver’s signal to cross. Concerned parents who wait at bus stops with children are a tremendous asset.
  • Warn children that, if they drop something, they should never pick it up. Instead, tell the bus driver & follow his instructions. If they bend down to pick up an object, they might not be seen by the driver. Loading & unloading is the most dangerous time.
  • Never cross behind the bus or where the driver can’t see you.
  • Follow your school’s procedures if you have an emergency and would like your child to get on or off at a stop other than the one assigned. The driver isn’t allowed to let a child board or get off the bus at another stop without permission from supervisors.
  • If you meet your child at the bus stop after school, wait on the side where the child will be dropped off, not across the street. Children can be so excited at seeing you after school that they dash across the street & forget the safety rules.
  • Never chase the school bus. Should a child miss the bus, instruct them to return home (mornings) or return to campus office (afternoon) to make other transportation arrangements.

Riding the Bus

  • Students should take their seats quickly, be courteous to driver & follow his instructions.
  • They may talk quietly, but not distract the driver.
  • They should stay correctly seated, backpacks in their laps for the entire ride, and keep the aisles clear. Students are rarely injured in bus accidents if they remain correctly seated.
  • See the current Mineral Wells ISD Student Handbook-Safe Rider for a complete listing of Bus Rules.