Everyone has a responsibility to help ensure the safety of child pedestrians. Unfortunately, many children are injured—or even killed—when proper safety precautions are ignored on their way to and from school. These tragedies often occur near their own home when they are getting on or off their school bus.
School buses are one of the safest forms of transportation, but getting on and off the bus is the most dangerous part of the school bus ride. That’s why the loading and unloading area is called the “Danger Zone.” This area—which extends 10 feet in front of the bus, 10 feet on each side of the bus, and behind the bus—is where children are at greatest risk of not being seen by the bus driver. Children need to be taught how to get on and off the school bus safely.
The following information is provided to empower you as a parent, guardian or motorist to educate yourself and your children on transportation safety tips.
Child safety begins with the parents. Not only should young children be supervised at all times when around traffic, but parents should teach their children proper safety through example. Explain and show your children how to cross streets safely by stopping at the curb, checking left-right-left for traffic in all directions, and only crossing when traffic is clear. Be sure to praise your children when they follow these rules so they are encouraged to do so each time.
Other tips parents can take to ensure their child’s safety include:
Children face a wide variety of dangers on their way to and from school, whether they walk, bike, or ride the bus. Teaching children the safety steps below will help them travel safely.
Drivers should take extra precautions when driving through school zones or in areas where school buses are present. Young children often have a hard time seeing motorists due to their small size so it is the responsibility of the driver to be on alert.
Children have difficulty judging the speed and distance of cars and may think they have enough time to cross the street when they actually do not. Because of this, motorists should drive slowly around areas where children are present, such as playgrounds and schools, and be ready for a child to dart in front of them at any time.
Though these are part of driving laws, it is always good to be reminded of the following traffic rules: