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Bus Stop Safety


School Bus Safety Zone
Where is the Danger Zone?


The Danger Zone for a school bus is the are 10 feet around the bus.

The two most dangerous places are:

  • Front of the bus
  • Right rear tire area

Please talk to your child about the following safety rules:

  • Avoid the danger zone around the bus.
  • Don't try to pick up something dropped near the bus - the bus driver might not see you.
  • Remember that some motorists don't always stop for a stopped school bus.
  • Be careful whenever getting on or off the bus.


What do the Warning Lights Mean?

  • Alternating flashing amber (yellow) lights are to be used to warn motorist that the bus is stopping to take on or to discharge passengers.
  • Alternating flashing red lights are to be used to inform motorists that the bus is topped on the roadway to take on or discharge passengers.
  • Stop arm shall be operated simultaneously with flashing red signal lights.  A white flashing strobe light, individually switched, may be used, when unfavorable atmospheric conditions or time of day limit visibility (i.e., fog, rain, snow, darkness).
  • Four-way hazard lights shall be activated at railroad crossings and turn-arounds unless prohibited by local ordinance.
  • Headlights should be actuated during operation of the school bus.

School bus safety is a team effort. ----  Nothing is more precious than a child's life.



Real School Bus
Why It Takes So Long at Bus Stops


Safety Procedures Are Required By State Law

The safety of the children, as they are transported to and from school and school-related events, is our highest priority.

At bus stops state law requires drivers to follow these procedures:

  • Check mirrors for traffic conditions and apply brakes well in advance to warn traffic from the rear.
  • Actuate warning lights 300 feet prior to stop.
  • Stop bus at designated stop.
  • Set parking brake.
  • Place the gear shift lever into neutral gear for both manual and automatic transmissions to prevent the bus from lunging forward.
  • Open service door to actuate the warning lights and place hand over horn to warn students of potential hazards.
  • Give students directions to go to their Designated Place of Safety and stay there until the bus leaves or signal students to board the bus from their Designated Place of Safety.
  • Shift the gear lever into the starting gear, only after counting and confirming the students are in their Designated Place of Safety or safely in their seat.
  • Look to identify students and potential hazards in the danger zone, counting and checking the mirrors, before closing the door and canceling the warning lights.
  • Close the door when all areas are clear.  Door must be closed before the bus moves.
  • Release the parking brake after closing the door.
  • Recheck traffic in the right and left side mirrors prior to pulling away.

Modifications of these procedures may be necessary for preschool, kindergarten, and special needs students.


FACT: School buses keep an annual estimated 17.3 million cars off roads surrounding schools each morning.

Imagine a world with less traffic, cleaner air, and more affordable transportation. These are just some of the benefits that school bus ridership provides. While school buses are one of the safest ways to send your kids to school, there are many good reasons that make them a growing choice among parents for their children’s school commute.  

While the monetary savings of cutting school bus funding are easily measured, what those cuts truly cost is rarely considered during budget planning. Without school buses, your community can count on more traffic and pollution. Families will spend more money filling up their gas tanks more often, and many children will have a difficult time getting to school on time, every day. 


FACT: School buses are designed to be safer than passenger vehicles in avoiding crashes and preventing injury.

 Today’s school buses are tougher and more diligently maintained than ever before. School bus drivers receive special training in safety, security and medical procedures; undergo regular drug and alcohol testing; and receive regular driving record checks. School bus traffic laws designed to protect students are strictly enforced. 


FACT: School buses are the safest mode of transportation for getting children back and forth to school.

SOURCE: American School Bus Council