Students all over the country rely on school buses to get them safely to and from school and other activities. As responsible drivers, we can help keep kids safe by practicing caution when school buses and children are present.
School bus laws can vary by state, so double-check the laws specific to your area. With that said, there are some basic bus safety rules that every driver can follow:
- When you see a school bus’s flashing red lights with a stop sign, this indicates that drivers should stop.
- When you see flashing lights on the school bus, drivers in either direction of the bus should stop until the lights go off and the bus moves again.
- Yellow flashing lights on the bus indicate the bus is getting ready to stop to unload or pick up children. Consider stopping or proceed with caution.
- Always wait until children are safely on sidewalks before accelerating near a bus stop.
If you’re driving near a school bus and you aren’t sure exactly what the rules are—our suggestion? Better safe than sorry! Stopping for school buses is one of the most important things you can do on the road. Remember, children may not know or understand just how dangerous the roadway can be and it’s up to you to be appropriately – and often overly – cautious around them.
Bus Safety Tips to Remember
A big yellow school bus isn’t the only indication to drive cautiously. It’s also crucial to drive very carefully near bus stops, in school zones, and anywhere with kids walking to and from school! Here are a few tips and reminders to keep in mind during the school year.
- Children may dart into the street if they’re running late for the bus. Keep your eyes peeled, especially around the time when school starts and ends.
- Stay vigilant of children in and near the street in school zones and obey all speed limit signs. When in doubt, go slow!
- When backing out of a driveway, keep an eye out for kids walking or riding their bikes. This tip is especially important when kids are headed to school in the morning or home in the afternoon.
No matter where you live, practicing caution and safe driving around school buses can help get children safely to and from school. For more information about school bus laws, visit National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).