School is finally back in session. My older boy begins high school on
Friday, though the younger one doesn’t begin until after Labor day. I
drive my kids to school, but, according to the Michigan State Police,
for 23 million other students nationwide, the school day begins and
ends with a trip on a school bus. If your kids ride a school bus, it’s
important to know that the greatest risk for them is not riding the
bus, but when they are approaching or leaving the bus. Both children
and adults must know and follow traffic safety rules designed to keep
1) Children should arrive at their bus stop at least five minutes before the bus is scheduled to arrive. When the bus approaches, stand at least three giant steps (or six feet away) from the street or curb. Do not cross the road or enter the bus until the driver says or signals that it is okay. Be sure your children know that they should never walk behind the bus or alongside the bus where the bus driver is not able to see them.
2) Drivers must approach a school bus cautiously; prepare to stop when a slowing bus has its overhead yellow lights flashing, and always come to a complete stop at least 20 feet away from the bus when its overhead red lights are flashing. Be especially alert where children congregate near bus stops.
Michigan State Police Troopers ask you to help make this a safe year for our school children. Don't Wreck Your Life! Use caution near school bus stops, keep your eyes on the road, never drink and drive, and always wear your safety belt.
If your school will allow it, consider participating in the National
School Bus Safety Week. Held each year in the third full week of
October, National School Bus Safety Week is an active and evolving
public education program designed to promote school bus safety. The
National Association for Pupil Transportation offers downloadable
materials that include informative flyers, as well as an educational booklet
with activities, contests, and promotions meant to help parents,
students, teachers, motorists, school bus operators, school
administrators, and other interested parties - to join forces and
address the importance of school bus safety.
By Brandy Schaffels