A new academic year is upon us and saftey should be on everyone's mind.
School Bus Safety Tips
•Walk with your kids to the bus stop and wait with them until it arrives.
•Tell kids to stand at least three giant steps back from the curb as the bus approaches and board the bus one at a time.
•Teach kids to wait for the bus to come to a complete stop before getting off and never to walk behind the bus.
•If your child needs to cross the street after exiting the bus, he or she should take five giant steps in front of the bus, make eye contact with the bus driver and cross when the driver indicates it’s safe.
•Teach kids to look left, right and left again before crossing the street.
•Instruct younger kids to use handrails when boarding or exiting the bus.
•Be careful of straps or drawstrings that could get caught in the door.
•If your children drop something, they should tell the bus driver and make sure the bus driver is able to see them before they pick it up.
•Drivers should always follow the speed limit and slow down in school zones and near bus stops.
•Remember to stay alert and look for kids who may be trying to get to or from the school bus.
•Slow down and stop if you’re driving near a school bus that is flashing yellow or red lights. This means the bus is either preparing to stop (yellow) or already stopped (red), and children are getting on or off.
For more information about school bus safety, call Safe Kids Kansas at 785-296-1223 or 785-296-0351, or visit http://www.safekids.org.
Tips for Walking Safely to School
Walking is fun, but you need to be safe while doing it. Follow these tips to make sure you get to and from school without any problems.
Younger children should always walk with an adult. Tell your parents that walking is great exercise and a nice way to spend time together.
If your parents say that you can walk to school on your own, remember these tips:
• Walk with a friend when possible.
• Ask your parents to help you pick a safe route to school; one that avoids dangers.
• Stick to the route you picked with your parents. Don’t let friends talk you into shortcuts that are more dangerous.
• When you are near the street, don’t push, shove, or chase each other.
• Never hitchhike or take rides from people not arranged by your parents.
• Talk to your parents and teacher about any bullying that may happen during your walk.
Remember, drivers may not be able to see you well. Always wear bright-colored clothes and if it is dark or hard to see, carry flashlights or wear reflective gear.
Look for traffic
Watch out for cars and trucks at every driveway and intersection on your walk to school. Look for drivers in parked cars. They may be getting ready to move.
Cross the street safely
1. Stop at the curb or edge of the street.
2. Look left, right, left and behind you and in front of you for traffic.
3. Wait until no traffic is coming and begin crossing.
4. Keep looking for traffic until you have finished crossing.
5. Walk, don’t run across the street.
6. Obey traffic signs, signals and adult school crossing guards
For more resources and information on Safe Routes to School, please visit the National Center for Safe Routes to School Web site at http://www.saferoutesinfo.org.
Tips for Drivers
•When backing out of a driveway or leaving a garage, watch out for children walking or riding 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 about getting there safely.
•Slow down. Watch for children congregating near bus stops.
•Be alert. Children arriving late for the bus may dart into the street without looking for traffic.
•Know that it is illegal to pass a school bus stopped for loading/unloading. In Kansas, the fine for this potentially deadly violation is $315, plus court costs.
•If you see a bus ahead, slowdown in preparation for its stop. It’s easy to misjudge the speed at which you can overtake a bus, and they make frequent stops.
•Learn the flashing signal light system that school bus drivers use to alert motorists of pending actions. Never pass a bus when flashing lights are displayed.
•Yellow flashing lights indicate the bus is preparing to stop to load or unload children. Motorists should slow down and prepare to stop.
•Red flashing lights and an extended stop arm indicate the bus is stopped and children are getting on or off. Motorists must stop and wait until the red lights stop flashing, the extended sign is withdrawn, and •the bus begins moving before starting to drive again.
•While stopped behind a bus, motorists should put all distractions away and give their full attention to the road, and what is going on in and around the bus.
For more information on driving tips, please visit http://www.kansashighwaypatrol.org.