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Go Back to School With School Bus Safety

This is a great time of year to look forward to the fall colors. The most important color, however, is yellow: “School Bus” yellow! Safe Kids Worldwide has some great tips to keep our kids safe. Taking the bus for the first time is a big step for your child. Help your kids get a gold star in bus safety by following these tips. School buses are the safest mode of motorized transportation for getting children to and from school, but injuries can occur if kids are not careful and aware when getting on and off the bus.

Top Tips for Kids*

  • 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.

Top Tips for Adults

  • 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.


We need to take into account that the majority of these children are between the ages of five and seven and do not behave like adults. They may cross the street without warning or may be blocked from view by the bus. Knowing the law for stopping for a school bus is essential, since getting off the school bus is more deadly for children than the bus ride itself. Know when to stop. Illinois law requires that, on a two-lane or one-way roadway, all traffic must stop at least twenty feet away from the school bus. On a four lane roadway with at least two lanes traveling in the opposite direction, only the lanes traveling the same direction of the bus must stop. Please check your state’s laws to be sure. We can all do our part to maintain school bus safety, first, by educating our kids about getting on and off the bus safely and second, by being extra cautious as drivers!

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