The arrival of Labor Day marks the end of summer, and the beginning of the school year.  This coming week students will be headed back to classes and Stark & Stark want to remind students and their parents about some bus safety tips.

It’s not just drivers who should use extra caution as school begins again. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration encourages all parents to discuss safety measures with their children. Students should:

 At the School Bus Stop: 

  • Always arrive at the bus stop at least five minutes early.
  • Stand at least three giant steps away from the curb while the bus is approaching and wait until the bus has come to a complete stop, the door opens, and the bus driver says that it’s OK to board.
  • Always walk on the sidewalk when preparing to cross the street near a bus.
  • Make eye contact with the bus driver.
  • Never walk behind the bus.
  • Walk at least three giant steps away from the bus when walking along side it.
  • Use the handrail when entering and exiting the bus.
  • Take extra precautions to make sure that clothing with drawstrings and book bags do not get caught in the hand rail or door.
  • Never stop to pick something up that you have dropped when a bus is stopped.
  • Tell the bus driver or wait until the bus has driven off before crossing the street to avoid not being seen by the driver.

Loading or Unloading from the Bus: 

  • As the bus is approaching, watch for the red flashing lights and the stop arms to extend.
  • When the bus stops, wait for the driver’s signal that it is safe to cross the road or board the bus.
  • If crossing the street, look left, right and left again. When the driver signals that it is safe, walk at least 12 feet in front of the bus where the driver can see you.
  • Never walk behind the school bus.
  • Never run after the bus.
  • Hold the handrail while going up and down the stairs.
  • Go directly to your bus seat and remain seated during the entire ride.
  • Exit the bus only at your assigned bus stop.
  • If you drop something near the bus, tell the bus driver. Never try to pick it up first, because the driver may not be able to see you.

On the School Bus: 

  • Keep your hands, arms and head inside bus.
  • Always buckle up properly if your school bus has safety belts.
  • Stay in your seat and obey the driver.
  • Remain seated at all times and keep the aisle clear.
  • Stop talking and stay quiet when the bus comes to a railroad crossing so the driver can hear if a train is approaching.
  • Avoid any loud or disruptive behavior that could distract the bus driver from safely operating the bus.
  • Be courteous and respectful to your driver. Safely getting you to and from school is a tremendous responsibility that the driver takes very seriously.

These simple tips will help every student get to school safely. Parents should review these pointers with their children periodically, and certainly at the beginning of the school year.

John Sakson a Shareholder in Stark & Stark’s Lawrenceville, New Jersey office, specializing in Accident & Personal Injury Law. For more information, please contact Mr. Sakson.