School Bus Safety Is Everyone’s Job

This is School Bus Safety week.  In addition to the school bus drivers, officials say students and other drivers play an important role in keeping kids safe going to and from school or school-sponsored activities.

Craig Yetter, community relations coordinator for the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation’s Safety Administration, says an important part of the safety routine is getting on or off the bus. He says the student should walk at least 10 feet in front of the bus, so that the bus driver can see them.  He says they should be able to see the bus driver.

Yetter says students should make it a practice to arrive at the bus stop about 5 minutes early, so they don’t have to run across the road to catch the bus.  He says they should never run after a bus if it has already left the bus stop.  When waiting for the bus, line up at least five giant steps from the curb or road to keep away from traffic.

Yetter says when the bus is moving, students should stay in their seats, face forward, and never put their heads or arms out the window.  They should speak quietly to avoid distracting the bus driver.

Other drivers need to slow down in school zones and when nearing bus stops, and obey the law to stop when the bus is picking up students or dropping them off. While 799 drivers were convicted last year of failing to stop for a school bus that had its flashing lights on, that was down from 865 the year before. 

Yetter says even if the bus has its flashing lights on and stop arm extended, students still need to watch out for traffic.