Safety First

With such a high level of activity, safety is the top priority. Schuylerville’s buses are thoroughly inspected every morning. Our bus drivers go through extensive training before obtaining licensing.

Parents have a role in bus safety, too. Here are some tips:
  • Make sure children get to the bus stop in plenty of time. Running to catch a bus can cause carelessness, especially when crossing streets and boarding the bus.
  • Instruct children about bus danger zones, which are 10 feet around the perimeter of the bus. Drivers cannot see anyone who is within 10 feet of the bus bumper. When walking beside a bus, children are in the danger zone if they can touch the bus. Also, make sure children know that they should never cross in back of or go behind the bus.
  • Stress safety over forgotten clothing or lost homework. Children should never reach for something (like a homework paper) that has fallen beneath the bus. Likewise, they shouldn’t attempt to get back on the bus to retrieve forgotten items.
  • Keep safety in mind when choosing clothing. Clothing with drawstrings or straps can get caught on handrails as children enter or exit a bus.
  • Remind children about bus rules—obey the bus driver, sit quietly, wear seat belts and keep the aisles clear of books, arms and legs.
  • The most dangerous part of the school bus ride is the time spent getting on and off the bus.
  • Half the pedestrian fatalities in school bus-related accidents are children between the ages of five and seven.
  • Young children are the most likely to be injured because they:
    – Hurry to get on and off the bus.
    – Little experience with traffic.
    – Think drivers will see them and stop while they cross the street.
    – Don’t always stay within the bus driver’s sight.
Valuable Information Students Should Know About Bus Safety:
  • Students should arrive at the bus stop five minutes before their bus is scheduled to arrive.
  • Stand at least five giant steps (10 feet) from the edge of the road.
  • Wait for the bus to stop and the driver to say it’s okay to board the bus.
  • Be careful that there are no drawstrings or straps dangling that can get caught in the handrail or door.
  • Check both ways, left and right, before stepping off the bus.
  • Never stick your hands, head or feet out of the windows. Always walk in front of the bus, never behind it.
  • Walk on the sidewalk or along the side of the road to a point at least 10 giant steps ahead of the bus.
  • Be sure the driver can see you, and that you can see the bus driver.
  • Wait for the driver’s signal to cross the road.
  • If something falls under or near the bus, do not pick it up. Tell the driver!
  • Be alert to traffic when boarding or departing the bus.
  • Stay in your seat and talk quietly so the driver is not distracted.
  • If your bus has seat belts, be sure to learn how to use the seat belt properly.
In addition, drivers should be aware of the following tips:
  • Be aware it is illegal in every state to pass a school bus stopped to load or unload students.
  • Watch for students not paying close attention to traffic, playing or gathering near bus stops.
  • Slow down! Watch for children who are walking in the street, particularly if there are not crosswalks in the neighborhood.
  • Be alert; children who arrive late for school buses may run into the street without looking first.
  • Know and understand the laws governing motorists’ driving behavior near a school bus:
    • Be aware of the flashing signal lights that bus drivers use to indicate students are loading or unloading the bus.
    • Yellow lights flashing means the bus is preparing to stop to pick up or drop off children.
    • Drivers should slow down and prepare to stop their vehicles.
    • Red lights flashing, as well as extended “Stop” arms, indicate the bus has stopped.
    • Drivers MUST stop their cars. Begin moving only when the red flashing lights are turned off.