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School Bus Safety: Minnesota Department of Public Safety

Author / Coordinator: &nbsp
Minnesota Department of Public Safety
March 2007

Your children can have a lot of fun taking the bus to school every day. And, making them aware of the safety rules below can make every ride a safe and happy one.

Getting Ready for the Bus:

  • Be on time for the bus. Leave home on time. Get to your bus stop about five minutes before your pick up time, but don’t go to your bus stop too early.
  • On your way, cross the street only at the corner. If there aren’t any sidewalks, walk on the side of the road facing cars. Never run into the street or road.
  • Always look left and right and left again to make sure no cars are coming when you cross.

Waiting for the Bus:

  • When you are waiting for the bus stay off the lawns.
  • Don’t go into garages or climb trees.
  • Don’t litter.
  • Be quiet at the bus stop.
  • Many people may still be asleep when you are leaving for school.
  • Stay out of the street.
  • Always wait for the bus in a safe place, away from the curb.
  • Be sure that there is space between you and the passing cars.
  • Don’t run around or push each other, but stand quietly at the stop and wait for the bus to come.

Getting on the Bus:

  • Line up single file in front of the bus door.
  • Don’t push or shove. Wait your turn.
  • Always use the handrail. This could save you from falling off the steps and into the street.
  • Make sure you watch where you step.

Riding the Bus:

  • Once you are on the bus, sit down right away.
  • If you are standing in the aisle when the bus starts, you could lose your balance and fall, hurting yourself and others.
  • Share your seat. Never save a seat for a friend. Let anyone sit down next to you.
  • When you are traveling on the bus, be quiet. Noisy children may distract the bus driver. You may talk quietly with the people near you, but do not yell.
  • If your bus driver lets you open the windows only open halfway, and do not throw anything out.
  • Keep your head and arms inside. Anything close to the road could easily hurt someone who is leaning out of the bus.
  • The bus driver knows the safety rules and is there to help you. Always obey the bus driver.
  • Attention: Playing with your friends is not safe when riding the bus.

Getting Off the Bus:

  • Don’t push or shove while getting off.
  • When you stop at school, let your classmates in the front of you get off first.
  • A driver cannot see near the back tires on either side of the bus, right in front of the bus or close to the sides. Move away from the bus where the driver can see you.
  • If you must cross the street when you get off the bus, cross in front of the bus. But wait for an “all clear” signal from the driver before you leave the curb. Look both ways before crossing.

School Bus Safety Books and Videos:

  • Otto the Auto: School Bus Safety (1994, 4 minutes each, K-3rd Grade, Attitudes) – Four presentations teach children about different aspects of school bus safety: “Before You Go to the Bus,” “Waiting for and Getting on the Bus,” “Safe Behavior on the Bus” and “The Danger Zone.”
  • Pooh's Great School Bus Adventure (14 minutes, K-3rd Grade, Attitudes) – Winnie the Pooh and his friends learn the rules for a safe trip on the school bus.
  • The Safest Way Out: Emergency School Bus Evacuation – (General Ed Student Version) (1997, 12 minutes, K-9 Grade) – Shows children how to properly prepare for and execute an emergency school bus evacuation.
  • School Bus Safety: Bus Stops and Danger Zones (11 minutes) – Program features segments on danger zones, safety at the school bus stop and front cross procedures.
  • The Safest Way Out: Emergency School Bus Evacuation – General Ed Driver Version (1997, 16 minutes) – Shows drivers how to properly prepare for and conduct an emergency school bus evacuation.
  • The Safest Way Out: Emergency School Bus Evacuation – Special Needs Driver Version (1997, 16 minutes) – Shows drivers of special-needs school buses how to properly prepare for and conduct an emergency evacuation.