It’s that time of year! Remind your children, other drivers and yourself to keep children safe at school bus stops and watch out for walkers and bikers, too! Follow these tips from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
For Your Child, do they know these tips?
Safety starts at the bus stop
Your child should arrive at the bus stop at least five minutes before the bus is scheduled to arrive. Visit the bus stop with your child so you can show your child where to wait for the bus: at least three giant steps (six feet) away from the curb. Remind your child that the bus stop is not a place to run or play.
Get on and off safely. When the school bus arrives, your child should wait until the bus comes to a complete stop, the door opens, and the driver says that it’s okay before approaching the bus door. Your child should use the handrails to avoid falling.
Use caution around the bus
Your child should never walk behind the school bus. If your child must cross the street in front of the bus, tell your child to walk on a sidewalk or along the side of the street, to a place at least five giant steps (10 feet) in front of the bus before crossing.
Your child should make eye contact with the bus driver before crossing, to make sure the driver can see your child. If your child ever drops something, like a ball or book, near the school bus, the safest thing is for your child to tell the bus driver right away. Your child should not try to pick the item up because the driver might not be able to see your child.
Be far enough away from the bus so the driver’s face can be seen. Wait for the driver to signal that it’s safe to cross. Look left-right-left to make sure traffic is stopped.
When approaching a school bus from the rear or the opposite direction, stop at least 20 feet from it when it is displaying red flashing lights and/or its stop arm is extended – it’s the law!
When backing out of a driveway or leaving a garage, watch out for children walking or bicycling to school.
When driving in neighborhoods with school zones, watch out for young people who may be thinking about getting to school, but may not be thinking of getting there safely.
Slow down. Watch for children walking in the street, especially if there are no sidewalks in neighborhood. Watch for children playing and congregating near bus stops.
Be alert. Children arriving late for the bus may dart into the street without looking for traffic.
Learn and obey the school bus laws. Learn the “flashing signal light system” that school bus drivers use to alert motorists of pending actions:
Yellow flashing lights indicate that the bus is preparing to stop to load or unload children. Motorists should slow down and prepare to stop their vehicles.
Red flashing lights and extended stop arms indicate that the bus has stopped, and that children are getting on or off. Motorists must stop their cars and wait until the red lights stop flashing, the extended stop sign is withdrawn, and the bus begins moving before they can start driving again.
Contact us with any questions on your auto insurance coverage limits or provisions. Be safe!