The Missouri State Highway Patrol recognizes the importance of bus safety and inspects every school bus in the state each year. We want children to arrive at school safely, and they can help by being good riders.
October 22-26, 2018 is National School Bus Safety Week and a great opportunity for parents to talk with their children about their responsibilities as a passenger. Parents, ask your children, “How do you ride the school bus?” Please impress upon your children the importance of being a safe rider.
Here are some basic safety rules for children riding a school bus:
• While at the bus stop, pay attention to your surroundings and stay on the sidewalk or shoulder of the road.
• Be at the bus stop on time.
• Board the bus single file, without pushing.
• Stay seated while the bus is in motion.
• Never put your head or any part of you outside the bus window.
• Never throw anything out a bus window.
• Keep the aisle clear of books, lunch boxes, backpacks, musical instruments, etc.
• Talk quietly to your neighbor; never shout.
• If a student must cross the street after disembarking, they should remain at least 10 feet in front of the bus. If your student can see the bus driver, the bus driver can see your student! Always check both directions before crossing.
• If there is an emergency, listen to the bus driver for instructions.
Good behavior on the school bus can help prevent a traffic crash. Eliminating distractions and the ability to hear other traffic is helpful to the bus driver. In 2017, five people were killed and 401 people were injured in 869 traffic crashes involving school buses.
Missouri law states that on a two-lane road, if a school bus is stopped and displaying warning signals while loading or unloading children, drivers must stop when meeting and following the bus. However, it is only necessary to stop on a four-lane highway when following the bus. Drivers, when you see a stopped school bus, stay alert and follow the law. Children may not be aware of traffic and dart unexpectedly into the roadway.
The only 100 percent survivable crash is the one that never happens. Make sure everyone in the vehicle is properly restrained in a seat belt or child restraint. Every day as we travel on Missouri’s roadways, we trust that every driver on the road is going to obey the speed limit, pay attention, and drive sober. “Don’t Violate The Trust.”
For more news, follow the Missouri State Highway Patrol on Twitter @MSHPTrooperGHQ