School Bus Safety

More than 330,000 Connecticut children are transported to and from school in a school bus every day. When school is in session, drivers should be sure to drive with EXTRA caution. The following are safety tips for motorists, parents, and children:

Tips for Motorists:
Tips for Parents:
Tips for Children:
Slow down.
Be especially careful when driving on neighborhood streets and around school zones, always expect the unexpected.
Be alert for youngsters walking to and from school as you back out of your driveway or leave your parking garage.
We want school children to be safe. Watch for them on bicycles, especially at intersections and driveways. Young bicyclists have a tendency to dart out of driveways without looking for traffic.
Stop your car when you see lights flashing on a school bus. Red flashing lights indicate that the bus is stopped and students are getting on or off. Don't start driving until the red lights stop flashing. Be aware that a child may dash across the street.


Tips for Parents:

Does your child ride a bicycle to school? Remember: State law requires anyone under the age of sixteen to wear a helmet while riding a bicycle. It's not just the law--it's a good idea for everyone. If your child is one of the more than 330,000 Connecticut children who ride a school bus, remind them of these safety tips:
Stay away from danger zones around the bus. The blind spots where drivers cannot see. Always be sure you can see the driver, that means the driver can see you.
When getting on or off the bus be very careful. Watch out for cars. Remind children to look to the right before they step off the bus. Drivers in a hurry sometimes try to sneak by buses on the right.
Help your children get ready for school:
Have your children put everything they carry in a backpack or school bag so that they won't drop things along the way.
Have them wear bright, contrasting colors so that they will be more easily seen by drivers. Better still, attach a piece of high visibility fluorescent and reflective material to their clothing or backpack.
Make sure they leave home on time so that they can walk to the bus stop and arrive before the bus is due. Running can be dangerous.
Teach your children to secure loose drawstrings and other objects that may get caught in the handrail or door of the school bus as they are exiting.
Warn children that if they drop something near the bus they should never ever pick it up. Instead, they should tell the bus driver and follow the driver's directions. If they bend over to pick up a dropped object, they might not be seen by the driver and could be hurt if the bus pulls away from the stop.
Go to the bus stop with a young child and have older children walk in groups. There's safety in numbers because groups are easier for drivers to see.
Don't let pre-school children or pets go with your school child. They can be dangerous near traffic.
If you decide to 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 get so excited at seeing you after school they might forget safety rules and dash across the street.
Talk quietly
Be courteous
Follow the driver's directions
Keep the aisles clear
Stay seated for the whole bus ride.

A team effort involving parents, school children, the bus driver and crossing guards--an effort that pays off in holding down costs and preventing accidents.