Staying Safe on the School Bus


Riding the school bus can be an exciting way to travel to and from school. It can be fun to talk to your friends about school and other activities while you ride. While riding the school bus might be something that you do every day during the school year, it’s important to pay attention to safety rules. Buses are very large vehicles, and drivers may not always see students as they get on and off the vehicle. By learning and following safety rules, you can stay safe while you ride the bus.


Tips for Kids

  • Always walk (never run) while you move around on the pavement around a school bus and other vehicles. Running could cause you to trip and fall.
  • Never play games at the bus stop. Stand quietly while you wait so no one gets hurt.
  • Stay on sidewalks, standing at least three big steps away from the curb. If there are no sidewalks around a bus stop, walk on the left side of the road so you are facing cars as they pass you.
  • If the bus stop is located near someone’s yard, behave courteously. Never leave trash behind at the bus stop.
  • Wait for a bus to stop completely before you get on or off the vehicle.
  • If you ever drop something while getting on or off the bus, tell the driver. Don’t pick up the item until the driver tells you that you can.
  • Hold handrails while you get on and off the bus.
  • Let younger children go ahead of you to get on and off the bus.
  • Walk directly to a seat on the bus, and stay there until it’s time to get off the bus.
  • Talk quietly while you are on the bus so the bus driver can concentrate on driving safely.
  • Keep your backpack or bag on your lap while you ride. Keep your arms inside the bus and your feet out of the aisles.
  • Never touch the emergency exits on the bus. The driver will tell you what to do in an emergency.
  • Take five giant steps out from the front of the bus if you have to cross in front of it. Catch the bus driver’s eye before you cross, and wait for the driver to motion you to cross. Never cross the street behind a school bus.
  • Never assume that cars will stop for a bus. Traffic laws require cars to stop, but some drivers get impatient and do not stop.


Tips for Parents

  • Walk your children to the bus stop and wait with them until the bus arrives. Arrive at the bus stop at least five minutes early to avoid last-minute rushing.
  • Meet your children at the bus stop when they get home from school. Always wait on the side of the road where your child will get off the bus. Kids can forget safety rules in a rush to get to you after school.
  • Ensure that children do not have drawstrings or cords protruding from clothing or backpacks.
  • Encourage children to carry all items in a backpack or school bag to eliminate the possibility of dropping things.
  • Teach children safety guidelines about crossing the street. Kids should always make eye contact with the bus driver before crossing in front of the bus.


Tips for Teachers

  • Explain bus rules to students to make sure they understand them.
  • Visit the school bus stop area as a class so students become familiar with the environment.
  • Talk about how vehicles, including cars and buses, move in the parking lot. Remind students that drivers may not see them.
  • Explain and show proper crossing techniques so students know where they can safely cross streets as they get on and off the bus.
  • Remind children that rough-housing and playing is not allowed at the school bus stop or in the parking lot.