- A bus with flashing lights means children may be hurrying to catch the bus or may be in a rush to get home and could forget to look both ways before darting into the street.
- Yellow flashing lights on a school bus mean it is about to make a stop, so approach cautiously.
- Red flashing lights mean the bus has stopped and children are getting on or off. In many states it is illegal to pass a bus while the red lights are flashing, so be sure you are up to date on state laws regarding school buses and traffic.
Bus stops can also be a place where extra caution is needed. Children may be in a rush to get to the bus stop or may play games with friends while waiting for the bus, which can also lead to children entering the street unexpectedly. If you see a group of kids waiting at a bus stop, drive by with care.
- Try to get to the bus stop at least five minutes early. This will prevent you needing to rush across streets to catch the bus.
- As always, be sure to look both ways before crossing the street and only cross at crosswalks when walking to the bus stop.
- While waiting for the bus, be sure to stand or sit far back from the road.
- Wait for the bus to come to a complete stop and for the bus driver to tell you it is ok before getting on or off the bus.
- If you drop something near the bus, do not attempt to retrieve it yourself. Instead, alert the bus driver so he or she may help you.
- If you walk home from the bus stop, do not accept rides from or even speak to any strangers. Even if it seems like the stranger needs help, inform them you are not allowed to talk to strangers, get home, and call your parent immediately.
- An adult who does not work at the school and doesn’t seem to be a parent hanging around the campus, especially if this adult is approaching you or other children.
- Another student talking about bringing weapons or dangerous materials to school.
- Bullying by other students, whether you are the victim or if you see other students being bullied.
A safe community for children is a safe community for us all. Now that school is back in session, whether you are a student, parent, or simply a responsible member of the community, these tips can help make the school year safe and happy for everyone.