School Bus Safety for the New School Year

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In the next couple of weeks, parents will once again be relieved to send their kids off to school, but their relief does not come without concern. Child safety will be top priority for all parents so here are some safety tips, from Comedy Driving, Inc., for dropping off the children either at a bus stop or directly at a school.

In order for children to be safe while participating in school bus transportation, they must understand how to be safe before, during, and after they are riding on the bus. Parents must teach their children all of the different aspects of safety on the school bus. First, begin with informing children what they should do at the bus stop, prior to entering the bus. First of all, it’s important that children know to walk, not run. It’s also important to stay on the sidewalk when at the bus stop, and always try to be early to prevent from rushing and running to the bus stop. It’s also important that the child looks both ways before entering the bus to make sure it’s safe to do so. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported that from 2000 to 2009 130 pedestrians died in school related crashes.

Children riding in the bus should stay seated and facing forwards throughout the duration of the ride. It’s also important that children know not to talk too loud on the school bus to ensure that the bus driver is not distracted. Children should also always be aware of the fact that they need to listen to the bus driver at all times, and follow the bus driver’s instructions. When getting off of the school bus after the child reaches his or her destination, the child should remain seated until the bus has completely stopped and the driver says it is okay to exit. Again, the child needs to make sure they walk, not run, while exiting the bus and make sure to look both ways before exiting the bus or crossing the roadway.

Although teaching children proper bus safety is important, it is also equally important to learn how to safely drive when approaching a school bus. When driving on the road with school buses, it is imperative that motorists always pay attention and drive respectfully next to the bus. Remember, school buses are required to stop at railroad crossings to ensure the children’s safety.

The Texas defensive driving course, Comedy Driving, teaches their students that they must stop if a school bus has activated its flashing red lights. A common question in class is, “When does a car not have to stop for a school bus if the bus driver has activated the flashing red lights?” In Texas, traffic traveling the opposite direction from the school bus does not have to stop if there is a physical barrier separating the two lanes of traffic. A physical barrier is anything physically dividing the roadway such as: concrete or grass. Painted lines or construction barrels are not physical barriers and both sides of the roadway will have to stop for any school bus with active red lights that is dropping off children. Nevertheless, motorists must always be cautious and be on the lookout for children crossing the street even if there is a barrier because children are unpredictable.

Parents transporting their children to school must always be watchful for pedestrians crossing the street near school zones. Additionally, motorists must maintain the posted school speed limit. Motorists who defy this law may also face a heavy fine since police officers are often found near the schools. In Texas, fines are also doubled in active school zones and these tickets often cannot be dismissed with driving safety classes, so they would have to be paid in full and points would be added to the motorist’s driving record.

Motorists should refrain from using their cellphones in school zones in Texas because it is illegal. Comedy Driving, Inc. reminds students that it is against the law to use mobile devices in school zones in the state of Texas. Texas has also added additional mobile device restrictions that extend to all drivers under the age of 18. The number one thing for motorists to remember to ensure school zone and school bus safety is rather simple. As long as motorists are vigilant and have your eyes focused on the road near and around school zones and school buses many accidents can be avoided.

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Jeffrey Bitner
Comedy Driving Inc
+1 (713) 465-0042
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