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Safety tips for riding the school bus

The daily commute to school on a bus is a fact of life for many kids. Teach your child to be safe both at the bus stop and on the school bus with these helpful safety suggestions.

Safety for school children
Mom putting daughter on the bus

One of our primary jobs as a parent is to keep our kids safe wherever they are. This gets increasingly more difficult as our children grow and have responsibilities of their own, such as school or extracurricular activities. After all, we can’t always be with them 24-7! What we can do, however, is teach them safety rules they can follow on their own. Here are some safety tips to teach your child about riding the school bus.

At the bus stop

  • School bus safety starts before you get on the bus and continues until after you have been dropped off and the bus has left.
  • Be at the bus stop on time. Not only is this courteous to the driver and other riders, it may help prevent injuries or accidents that could happen when rushing to get to the bus.
  • Wait for the bus driver’s signal, then check all directions for traffic before crossing the street to get to or from the bus. Walk in front of the bus only, never behind it.
  • Walk — don’t run — when approaching the bus or leaving the bus, even when meeting a parent or caregiver. As a parent you should meet your child on the same side of the road as the bus stop, but be sure to park the same distance away as you would when coming to a stop behind the bus, which is approximately 20 metres.
  • Stand in a safe place — well back from the road — while waiting for the bus to approach. When it has come to a complete stop, line up in single file to board the bus.
  • After leaving the bus, move away from the side and the edge of the road to allow others to exit, and help keep everyone safe.

On the bus

  • Make sure your shoelaces are tied and your backpack is done up, then enter the bus in single file while holding on to the handrail for support. Exit in the same manner.
  • Find a seat, and once seated, stay put. Don’t get up and walk around or look for a new seat.
  • Sit face forward only.
  • Keep your belongings with you and on the floor in front of your seat; never put anything in the aisle.
  • Don’t hang anything outside the windows, including hands and personal belongings.
  • Don’t be rowdy or disruptive.
  • Your bus driver is there to make sure you get to school and home again safely, so don’t distract him or her. Be polite, and follow all their instructions.

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