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School Bus Safety Tips for Children, Motorists

Now that the back-to-school season is upon us, here are a few safety tips regarding school bus procedures.

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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. 
penta August 18, 2012 at 02:02 PM
PLEASE, please stop for buses. In dropping or picking up my kids, I'm horrified on an almost daily basis as cars whiz by the bus when it clearly has the red lights flashing. I know people are in a hurry, but think of the consequences of hitting a child. I've almost gotten hit myself, crossing the street with them, in front of the bus by cars trying to actually pass the bus as it's pulled over.

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