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The Do's and Don'ts of Winter Bus Safety

With more students and snow at our bus stops during the winter months, it is always good to review bus stop safety tips to ensure a safe and pleasant trip to school.

Winter bus safety tips for students:

DO's

  • Do dress in warm winter clothing: hats, mittens and boots.
  • Do be on time at the bus stop.
  • Do walk facing traffic and wear bright clothing so you are visible in times of reduced light.
  •  Do wait for the bus several feet further off the road in a safe place in winter weather. Be mindful that some stops may still have snow piles or drifts.
  •  Do use the handrail when boarding or exiting the bus to prevent slipping and injuring yourself on icy road surfaces or steps.
  •  Do keep your head and arms inside the windows when riding the bus to prevent frostbite and other injuries to your limbs and face.
  • Do move away from the bus to a place where the driver can see you and you can see the driver after you get off the bus.
  •  Do cross 10 feet in from of the bus, but wait for the "all clear" signal from the driver before leaving the curb.
  •  Do keep all pagers and articles in a backpack.

DON'Ts

  • Don't stand or play on snow piles at the bus stop - you could slide into the street in the path of oncoming traffic.
  •  Don't attempt to retrieve your books or lunchbox from around or underneath the bus until after it has cleared the unloading zone.
  • Don't push or shove when getting on or off the bus.
  •  Don't chase after the bus or attempt to grab the rear bumper.

Bus stop safety doesn’t end with the student, however. Parents are responsible for their children's safety before and after they are transported on the bus, including at the bus stop.

Drivers should always be mindful of student unloading and loading zones, but should take extra precaution at or near schools and bus stops during winter months.

Winter bus safety tips for parents and drivers:

DO's

  • Do encourage your children to follow winter school bus safety rules.
  • Do keep your vehicle in good driving condition - a child's life may depend on it.
  •  Do clear snow from the bus loading and unloading area near your home.
  •  Do use extra caution in school zones, at bus stops and at bus loading and unloading areas where high snow banks may exist.
  •  Do keep your windshield free of ice and snow.
  •  Do know and follow the laws of your state regarding school buses.
  •  Do drive safely - our winter climate, with its extreme weather conditions, short daylight and dangerous roads, requires extra effort by every driver.

DON'Ts

  • Don't be in a hurry. Student safety is important.
  •  Don't try to catch the bus at another stop with your vehicle if your students miss their pick-up. Take them all the way to school. The bus driver may not see the car in back of the bus and as the students attempt to run along the side of the bus to board, they may fall underneath the wheels and be injured or killed.
  •  Don't follow too closely behind the school bus making student stops.
  • Don't disregard the red flashing signals when following or facing a school bus. It is illegal - and dangerous - to pass a stopped school bus with its red lights flashing.
  • Keep these DOs and DON'Ts in mind and we can all do our part at home and on the road to keep Bethlehem's students safe!

For more information about bus safety, contact the bus garage at 845-794-8570.