Back to School Safety

Back to School Safety

Rockland’s students are returning to in-person instruction, and many rely on school buses to get them to and from school safely. From back in the day, when I was the PTA Health & Safety Committee Chair, this issue was an annual focus due to simple arithmetic; more children plus more vehicles on the roads equals an increased potential for accidents.
By exercising a little extra care and caution, drivers and pedestrians can co-exist safely in school zones. But bus safety, like so many other issues related to our children, is a team effort of bus drivers, students, the motoring public, and parents. Check out these tips and share them with your children to help keep them safe while traveling to and from school:
  • Safety starts at the bus stop: Your child should arrive at the bus stop at least five minutes before the bus is scheduled to arrive. Show your child where to wait for the bus: at least three giant steps (six feet) away from the curb. Remind your child that the bus stop is not a place to run or play.
  • Get on and off safely: When the school bus arrives, your child should wait until the bus comes to a complete stop, the door opens, and the driver says it’s okay before approaching the bus door. Your child should use the handrails to avoid falling.
  • Use caution around the bus: Your child should never walk or cross the street behind a school bus. If your child must cross the road to get to the bus, tell him/her to walk on a sidewalk or along the side of the street to a place at least five giant steps (10 feet) in front of the bus before crossing. Your child should also make eye contact with the bus driver before crossing to make sure the driver can see him/her. If your child drops something near the school bus, like a ball or book, the safest thing is for your child to tell the bus driver right away. Your child should not try to pick up the item because the driver might not be able to see him/her.
  • Practice safe driving in School Zones: Always stop for school busses that are loading or unloading children, never pass other vehicles while driving in a school zone, obey the posted school zone speed, and follow any signals given by crossing guards.
While we can teach our children about bus safety, it is adults who have the responsibility to operate their cars in a safe manner. Never forget that one split second that comes from rushing to your destination can kill a child and nothing can ever be done to undo that. With 86,400 seconds in the day, waiting through a few of them in order to keep our kids safe is just common sense.

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