Bus safety week

Staff Writer
Columbus Parent

Parents of students who ride a bus to school should carve out some time to talk about bus safety this month. The official week for School Bus Safety is Oct. 19-23.

Bus safety starts at the bus stop, according the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which says more children die when they are hit by a school bus than while riding one.

The agency recommends teaching children to take "three giant steps" away from the curb as the bus approaches. Other tips include:

  • Get to the bus stop at least five minutes before the bus is scheduled to arrive.
  • Wait until the bus stops, the door opens, and the driver says that it's okay before stepping onto the bus.
  • If you have to cross the street in front of the bus, walk on the sidewalk or along the side of the road to a point at least five giant steps (10 feet) ahead of the bus before you cross. Be sure that the bus driver can see you, and you can see the bus driver.
  • Use the handrails to avoid falls. When exiting the bus, be careful that clothing with drawstrings and book bags with straps don't get caught in the handrails or doors.
  • Never walk behind the bus.
  • Walk at least three giant steps away from the side of the bus.
  • If you drop something near the bus, tell the bus driver. Never try to pick it up because the driver may not be able to see you.

For more information on keeping children safe in and around school buses, visit nhtsa.gov/people/injury/buses/kidsschoolbus_en.html and nationwidechildrens.org/cirp-back-to-school-safety.