In Minnesota, school buses make at least 10,000 school bus trips daily, according to the Minnesota Department of Transportation. Here are a few safety tips courtesy of the department for children riding a bus, or motorists encountering a bus while traveling.
School Bus Safety Tips for Children
Parents should discuss and demonstrate pedestrian safety with their children and reinforce safe crossing after exiting a bus:
- When getting off a bus, look to be sure no cars are passing on the shoulder (side of the road).
- Before crossing the street, take five “giant steps” out from the front of the bus, or until the driver’s face can be seen.
- Wait for the driver to signal that it’s safe to cross.
- Look left-right-left when coming to the edge of the bus to make sure traffic is stopped. Keep watching traffic when crossing.
School Bus Safety Tips for Motorists
- Motorists must stop at least 20 feet from a school bus that is displaying red flashing lights and/or its stop arm is extended when approaching from the rear and from the opposite direction on undivided roads.
- Red flashing lights on buses indicates students are either entering or exiting the bus.
- Motorists are not required to stop for a bus if the bus is on the opposite side of a separated roadway (median, etc.) — but they should remain alert for children.
- Altering a route or schedule to avoid a bus is one way motorists can help improve safety. In doing so, motorists won’t find themselves behind a bus and as a result, potentially putting children at risk.
- Watch for school crossing patrols and pedestrians. Reduce speeds in and around school zones.
- Watch and stop for pedestrians — the law applies to all street corners, for both marked and unmarked crosswalks (all street corners) — every corner is a crosswalk.