As more students return to the classroom than last spring, it’s important to take time and refresh your memory on school bus safety.
Indiana State Police Jasper Post PIO, Sergeant David Henderson, reminds us of when to stop for a school bus.
“When a school bus stops in front of you with their flashing lights on and stop-arm extended, vehicles coming from both directions must come to a complete stop. On a four-lane road, traffic in both directions must come to a complete stop as well,” Henderson says.
However, if driving on a highway that is divided by a barrier, such as a cable barrier, concrete wall, or grassy median, motorists are only required to stop if they are traveling in the same direction as the school bus.
Getting to know the bus stop before the first day of school can also ensure the safety of students. Henderson explains what parents can do.
“You should always familiarize your child with the bus and bus driver. Get them on and off the bus, show them where to go, and show them what they can do to stay safe. The school bus drivers do a good job in helping the kids as well,” he says.
Children should always look both ways before crossing the street and arrive at the bus stop at least five minutes before the bus is scheduled to arrive. Then, as the bus approaches the stop, Henderson says to stay away from the curb.
“Stay back and stay on the side of the road until the bus comes to a complete stop, then wait for the doors to open and get on when the driver invites you in,” he says.
Making sure your child can easily be seen also helps keep them safe, especially when it stays dark later in the morning or get dark early in the evening. Henderson explains what you can do.
“Make sure they are in a well-lit place, and make sure they have some time of reflective gear on so they can be seen,” Henderson says.
Students are encouraged to contact an adult or a school official if they notice something strange at or around the bus stop.
For more school bus stop safety tips, head to safekids.org, call your local school district or contact your local police department.