School bus safety essential for students, parents and drivers - WNCN: News, Weather

School bus safety essential for students, parents and drivers

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The first day of school is quickly approaching and that means some changes for everyone on the roadways. More than 13,000 school buses are set to hit the road next week statewide and we want to make sure that everyone stays safe getting to where they need to be.

During the 2012-2013 school year, four children died due to bus related accidents. Students, parents and drivers are reminded to take their time and remain aware.

"Be on the look out for the big yellow buses," said Ellen Walston with the Eastern Carolina Injury Prevention Program. "This is an exciting time of year. We know that traffic increases around school zones but we also have our law enforcement partners that will be enforcing around school zones so it's important to the safety of the students and also the drives but be on the lookout for the buses because they're transporting precious cargo."

Here are some tips to stay safe, provided by Eastern Carolina Injury Prevention Program and

  • Have your children put everything they carry in a backpack or school bag so that they won't drop things along the way.
  •  Have them wear bright, contrasting colors so they will be more easily seen by drivers. 
  • Make sure they leave home on time so they can walk to the bus stop and arrive before the bus is due. Running can be dangerous.

Walking to the Bus Stop

  • Walk your young child to the bus stop and have older children walk in groups. There is safety in numbers; groups are easier for drivers to see. 
  •  Practice good pedestrian behavior. Your children should walk on the sidewalk; if there is no sidewalk, they should stay out of the street.
  •  If they must walk in the street, they should walk single file, face traffic and stay as close to the edge of the road as they can.
  •  Tell you child to stop and look left, right and then left again if they must cross the street. They should do the same thing at driveways and alleys.
  •  Exaggerate your head turns and narrate your actions so your child knows you are looking left, right and left.

Waiting at the Bus Stop

  • Don't let your child play running games or push and shove at the bus stop. It is dangerous near traffic. 
  • Make sure your child stands at least 10 feet (5 giant steps) from the road while waiting for the bus. The child will then be out of the way of traffic. Have younger children practice taking 5 giant steps to become familiar with 10 feet.

Getting On and Off the Bus

  • Warn children that if they drop something, they should never pick it up. Instead, they should tell the driver and follow the driver's instructions. If they bend over to pick up a dropped object, they might not be seen by the driver and could be hurt if the driver pulls away from the stop.
  • Remind children to look to the right before they step off the bus. Drivers in a hurry sometimes try to sneak by busses on the right.
  • Teach your children to secure loose drawstrings and other objects that may get caught in the handrail or door of the bus as they are exiting.
  • Give your child a note or follow the school's procedures if you would like for the child to get off at a stop other than the one they are assigned. The driver isn't allowed to let a child off at another stop without written permission.
  • If you meet your child at the bus stop after school, wait on the side where the child will be dropped off, not across the street. Children can be so excited at seeing you after school that they dash across the street and forget the safety rules.

Riding the Bus

  •  Children should talk quietly, be courteous to the driver and follow the driver's instructions. 
  • Children should stay seated during the entire bus ride and keep the aisles clear.

School Bus Information by County:
Pitt County
Lenoir County
Greene County
Craven County
Beaufort County

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