(StatePoint) A new school year means new routines. And if your child is one of the millions of kids who ride the school bus, you should be encouraged by U.S. Department of Transportation statistics that cite it as the safest mode of transportation for children to get to and from school.
Nevertheless, riding the school bus safely does require children to be aware and follow specific safety procedures. That’s why the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Chuggington, the educational animated children’s television program, have partnered to offer parents and children important school bus safety tips as part of the ‘Think Safe, Ride Safe, Be Safe!’ traffic safety campaign. The national traffic safety campaign helps parents teach their children about NHTSA’s recommended pedestrian, school bus, bike and car seat safety guidelines.
Below are a few school bus safety tips from the ‘Think Safe, Ride Safe, Be Safe!’ campaign for you to share with your children to make riding the school bus a safer experience:
• Be especially careful around the “danger zone,” which is 10 feet in front, behind and on each side of the school bus. To avoid this area, wait for the bus at least five giant steps away from the road.
• Wait to board the school bus until the school bus driver says it’s safe to do so. Kids should board one at a time and use the handrails to go up and down the stairs.
• Once on the school bus, go straight to your seat and remain sitting, facing the front of the school bus.
• Look out for cars before getting off the school bus. Once off, take five giant steps away from the school bus.
• Wait for the driver or crossing guard to signal it is safe to cross the street. Always look left-right-left to make sure no cars are coming before crossing the road.
Traffic safety education should be a positive, shared family experience. Parents can go online with children and take the pledge to ‘Be Safe!’ together at www.chuggington.com/safety. In addition to the pledge (to date, more than 500,000 children have taken the pledge to ‘Be Safe!’), families can access a safety game, activities, downloadable tip sheets and even a free traffic safety app.
By following the rules, both parents and children can help make getting to and from school each day safer for everyone.