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School Bus Safety

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Students walking past a school bus at school.

School buses are one of the safest modes of transportation for students, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The start of a school year is an exciting time for both students and parents. To help prepare your child for the first day of school, it is important to have a discussion with them on school bus safety.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, school buses are one of the safest school transportation options for children, accounting for less than one percent of all traffic fatalities nationwide. 

However, in 2020 there were 398 crashes involving school buses, resulting in 234 injuries and two deaths​ in North Carolina. To help bring these numbers down, everyone needs to stay alert and understand school bus stop laws.

N.C. School Bus Stop Law

All drivers must not only be aware around school buses, but also know the law of the road.​

If you're not sure when to stop for a school bus, check out the video below. 

 
 

Drivers should also learn the flashing signal light system that school buses use to telegraph their actions.

  • Yellow flashing lights indicate the bus is preparing to stop to load or unload children. Drivers should slow down and prepare to stop their vehicles.
  • Red flashing lights and extended stop arms indicate the bus has stopped and children are getting on or off. Drivers must stop their cars and wait until the red lights stop flashing, the extended stop-arm is withdrawn, and the bus begins moving before they can start driving again.

Other Tips for Drivers

  • When backing out of a driveway or leaving a garage, watch out for children walking or bicycling to school.​
  • When driving in neighborhoods with school zones, watch out for young people who may be thinking about getting to school, but may not be thinking of getting there safely.
  • Watch for children walking in the street, especially if the road contains no sidewalks.​

  • Watch for children playing and congregating near bus stops.
  • Be alert. Children arriving late for the bus may dart into the street without looking for traffic.

​School Bus Safety for Students

Teach your child the importance of school bus stop safety by checking out these do's and don'ts. 

​​​​Do's 
​Don'ts
​Arrive early to your bus stop
​Never walk behind a school bus
​Stand at least 6-feet away from the curb
​Never run or play around a school bus stop
​Wait until the bus stops completely before getting on or off
​Never run in the aisle of a school bus and always remain in your seat 
​When entering a school bus, form a line and go directly to a seat 
​Walk! Never run to the school bus stop

​Always use the handrail when entering or exiting a school bus
Stay out of the street while waiting for the school bus
Always obey and respect your bus driver

​Never push or play when entering or riding the school bus 

Look both ways before crossing the street

​Do not touch the bus's emergency door or windows
Source: N.C. School Bus Safety Web​ ​and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration​.​​

Dig Deeper

8/31/2021 8:44 AM