National School Bus Safety Week begins Monday, and the nation's largest school bus contractor is again targeting safety in the student loading and unloading zone.
The theme of School Bus Safety Week is "Stand Back from the Yellow and Black," and National Association for Pupil Transportation members will be voting on the best student posters that illustrate that safety message next week in Grand Rapids, Mich. But first, First Student is providing five tips to students to stay the safe at school bus stops.
- Stay 12 "giant" steps away from the outside of the bus
- Wait for the bus to come to a complete stop before getting on or off
- Don't pick up any items that may have dropped near the bus as the bus driver may not see them - ask the driver for help
- Wait until the bus driver signals it is OK to cross the street in front of the bus, either to or from the bus stop
- Stay away from the bus wheels at all times - especially the rear wheels, where it's hard for the driver to see
First Student also cautioned about distracted motorists as well as students, resulting from the increased used of mobile technology such as cell phones that can hinder safety at or near the school bus stop by, for exampling, taking attention away from the flashing red lights and stop arm.
"Everyone in the community plays a crucial role in ensuring students travel to and from school safely each day," said Gary Catapano, senior vice president of safety for First Student. "Our drivers take tremendous care when transporting students, but students and motorists must also remain alert and avoid distractions to ensure school transportation is as safe as possible."
NHTSA says that school buses are approximately 13 times safer for students than riding to and from school in a passenger vehicl or walking or biking.