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School Safety

School Bus Safety

​​Travelling on a school bus is one of the safest ways to travel. You might worry about school buses not having seat belts. The inside of a school bus is specially designed to protect people without seat belts. Adding seat belts may not improve safety.

School buses have other safety features that include:
  • flashing, red lights to warn other vehicles when a bus is stopping
  • special, high-back seats to absorb shock if the bus stops quickly or is in a collision

  • Even though school buses have many safety features, injuries do happen. The biggest risk to school bus passengers is during the loading and unloading of the bus. Most school bus incidents involve a:
  • vehicle hitting a school bus from behind
  • child walking to or getting off a school bus

Going to the Bus Stop

Teach your child pedestrian safety rules and these rules to cross the road:
  • cross at a corner. If there are no corners (e.g., in a rural area), show your child the safest way to get to the bus stop.
  • stay on the sidewalk (if there’s no sidewalk, walk on left side of the road facing towards traffic)
  • cross the road at marked cross walks
  • use POINT, PAUSE, PROCEED before crossing.
    • POINT (extend your arm) at the crosswalk, keeping all five fingers fully extended.
    • PAUSE to look for traffic. Look in all directions. Make eye contact with drivers and wait until all vehicles have come to a complete stop.
    • PROCEED across the street, keeping your arm and fingers extended. Stay alert to potential dangers.
  • don’t cross against a red light
  • if you need to cross in front of the bus, wait until you know the bus driver sees you

  • Teach your child to:
  • get to the bus stop at least 5 minutes before the bus comes
  • walk (not run) to the bus
  • stay away from using a mobile device or gadgets until they are in a safe location

It is a good idea to walk the bus route with your child until they know how to get to the bus stop safely.

At the Bus Stop

Teach your child:
  • to take 5 steps back from the road when the bus is stopping (if they can touch the bus, they are too close)
  • to wait for the bus to come to a complete stop
  • to stay at least 5 steps away from the 3 danger zones of the bus (front, sides, and back)
  • to pay attention to their surroundings, and this may mean avoiding using mobile device or gadgets until they are in a safe location
  • to check with the driver first before picking up something that they dropped near or under the bus

Getting on the School Bus

The biggest chance of getting hurt is when people get on and off the bus. Teach your child to stay safe by following these rules:
  • stand in a group when waiting for the bus
  • get on and off the bus one at a time
  • use the handrail to get on and off the bus

On the School Bus

Teach your child these rules when on the bus:
  • always listen to the bus driver
  • sit down quickly
  • put your things under the seat
  • stay seated with your head facing forward
  • don’t walk around inside the bus while it is moving
  • keep your head, hands, and arms inside the bus (no hanging out the windows)
  • wait until the bus comes to a full stop before you get up

Current as of: February 20, 2018

Author: Provincial Injury Prevention Program, Alberta Health Services