School buses are quite safe and easily the safest means for children to get to school and back. But here are some practical lessons taken partly from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and my own background to maximize their protection:
1. Allow plenty of time to get kids to the bus stop. Children who are late may be tempted to run into a busy street.
2. Children need to wait in a safe place at the bus stop away from any traffic.
3. Instruct your children to never, ever, walk behind a bus or too close in front of a bus. Buses have blind spots that kids need to be aware of. Before crossing in front of the bus, take five “giant steps” (about 10 feet) away from the bus.
4. Kids should never stick their hands, heads, or any objects out bus windows.
5. When in line to get in or out a bus, children need to walk orderly. This may seem obvious but students become so comfortable with the bus that they forget it is a very large moving vehicle that they need to respect.
6. Students should walk three “giant steps” away from the bus after they arrive at their destination.
7. If a child drops something near the bus, they should not pick it up until they talk to a driver or an adult on duty. Drivers cannot always see children if they are close to the bus.