Side of school bus and stop arm

School bus safety reminders

Author: Dabney Weems

Gov. Roy Cooper signed a bill on March 11 requiring all schools to offer in-person learning. After more than a year of virtual instruction for most in the state, students will be back in the classrooms very soon. That means more school buses will be back on the road. Let’s do a quick review of school bus safety to be safe and ready when they hit the roads.

When to stop

  • Two-lane roadway – All traffic from both directions must stop
  • Two-lane with a center turning lane – All traffic from both directions must stop
  • Four-lane roadway – All traffic from both directions must stop
  • Four-lane roadway with a median – Only traffic following the bus must stop
  • Four or more lanes with a center turning lane – Only traffic following the bus must stop

Know the bus driver’s blind spots

  • FRONT - It's never safe to walk close to the front of the bus. Children should walk five giant steps ahead of the bus before crossing in front of it.
  • SIDE – Bus riders should always stay three giant steps away from the side of the bus.
  • REAR - NEVER walk behind the school bus.

Other tips

  • Follow the bus driver’s signals – The school bus driver will signal with their hands when it is safe for the rider to cross the street when boarding and exiting the bus. Children should watch and wait for the all-clear signal from their driver.
  • Wear bright clothing – The bright colors make it easier for drivers to see the children.
  • Stand off the road – Children should stand at least 10 feet from the road when waiting for the bus. This keeps children off the road and out of traffic.
  • Something is dropped – If a child drops something while walking to the bus, they should not pick it up. They should notify the bus driver and follow the driver’s instructions. The child may not be seen by the driver if they bend down and pick up the object.
  • Look before getting off the bus – Bus riders should look to the right before disembarking the bus. Drivers sometimes try to pass buses, illegally, on the right.
  • Waiting for a bus rider – Parents should wait for their child on the side of the road that the child is dropped off. If a bus rider must cross the street to meet their parent, they might be excited about seeing them and forget to look before crossing the road.
  • Embarking the bus – If riders must cross the street to get on the bus, look left, then right, then left again before crossing the street. Wait for the bus to stop before you get on or off. Use the handrail when you get off the bus.

For more information on school cross safety visit:

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