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Bus Safety Reminders for Dark Fall Mornings

BUS SAFETY REMINDERS FOR FALL

As the weather turns colder and it is darker outside when students are heading to their bus stops, the Transportation Department is reminding families and drivers in the community of several important safety protocols.

The safety of students on our school buses is our top priority. State law requires very specific safety precautions by bus drivers, students, family members and motorists to ensure student safety.

All students are assigned and required to use a specific school bus stop with a designated place of safety. When possible, students should wear light-colored clothing or jackets on dark mornings (or place something reflective on coats or backpacks). Families should also:

  • Check new cold-weather clothing for safety. Draw strings and key chains can catch on objects on the bus and create potential safety hazards. 
  • Help students to be ready at their place of safety at the bus stop five minutes before the bus is due to arrive even in inclement weather. If necessary, family members should take turns with friends and neighbors to be sure students are supervised at bus stops.
  • Never drive to catch up to a bus. Having students run alongside a bus to catch a missed bus at a subsequent stop is dangerous as students could be in a driver’s blind spot. Also never chase after a bus that may miss a stop on the ride home from school. Drivers follow very specific protocols for missed stops, which includes radioing into the Transportation Department and continuing along the route to a safe location to turn around and bring the student back to the stop.
  • Remind students to alert the driver if they ever drop something near the bus. Students or parents should not reach to pick up items that fall near the bus or roll near the wheels until given the go-ahead that it is safe to do so by the driver.
  • Ensure students are not using technology such as phones or earbuds. Playing on a phone or listening to music impedes students’ ability to watch and listen for potential dangers around them as well as hear or see safety instructions from their bus driver.

For parents and other motorists driving during school transportation times, please remember that:

  • Alternating flashing amber (yellow) lights are on to warn motorists that the bus is preparing to stop to let students on or off the bus.

 

  • Alternating flashing red lights are on to warn motorists that the bus is stopped on the roadway to let students on or off the bus.

 

  • The STOP sign arm is engaged at the same time as the red flashing lights are turned on. A white flashing strobe light may also be used during unfavorable conditions or times of day that limit visibility, such as darkness, rain, fog and snow.

 

  • Four-way hazard lights are activated at all railroad crossings and turn-arounds. The bus will stop prior to crossing railroad tracks.

 

  • The school bus will have its four-way hazard lights and backup light on when preparing to back onto a side street to turn around.

 

  • Motorists must use caution when they approach a bus in the process of completing a turn-around.

 

  • Do not pass a school bus that has red alternating flashing lights. This is the signal that the bus is stopped to load or unload students. Traffic should not move until the bus resumes motion or the driver signals traffic to proceed. 

 

  • Be careful and alert on dark streets in the mornings as students and families are waiting at bus stops. Please observe posted speed limits on a roadways.

 

  • Remind teen drivers about these important rules of the road.

 

Thank you for your continued support and commitment to student safety as they travel to and from school each day.