We can all agree that the education of our nation’s youth is important, and that the majority of a classic education happens in school. While we may often think about our kids’ safety on school grounds or in the classroom, we seem to forget about safety measures that should be taken on the journey to and from school, in particular the bus. More than 25 million children ride the yellow bus every school day, giving the school bus transportation system a critical role in the education of our nation’s students. The bus is a direct link between a neighborhood and the classroom, and that is why NAPL (National Association for Pupil Transportation) sponsors National School Bus Safety Week, a public education program to bring together the whole community and address the importance of school bus safety. National School Bus Safety Week is recognized throughout the third full week of October each year and is promoted this year on October 17-21, 2022. Parents, students, teachers, motorists, school bus operators, school administrators, and other interested parties are reminded to keep school bus safety in the forefront to protect our nation’s youth. 

NAPT’s National School Bus Safety Week discusses the importance of bus safety and how safety measures should be taken well before getting on the bus. They highlight safety tips for getting ready for school, walking to the bus stop, at the bus stop, getting on and off the bus, and what to do when mobile devices are involved in these steps. When getting ready for school, kids should put everything they carry in a backpack or bag they won’t drop things out of. They should wear bright colors to be more easily seen by drivers and leave home on time, so they aren’t rushing and running in front of traffic. When walking to the bus stop, parents should accompany young children, or they should walk in groups that are easier for drivers to see. Practice good pedestrian behavior: walk on the sidewalk, stay out of the street, walk single file, face traffic, look both ways before crossing the street etc. At the bus stop, kids should wait in a place where the bus driver can see them. Don’t let them play in the street especially with balls or toys that can roll in front of moving vehicles. While getting on and off the bus, if something is dropped ask the bus driver what they should do before retrieving it and make sure they look to the right before getting off the bus. If you meet your child at the bus stop after school, wait on the side the bus drops the kids off so that if they are excited to see you, they won’t dash across the street in front of moving traffic. 

Mobile devices and phones are often permitted on the school bus; however, they add an extra layer of danger and unawareness to safety procedures and one’s surroundings. While getting on and off the bus make sure mobile devices are in backpacks or holders to keep hands free to use the bus’s handrails. Sound must be muted, or headphones should be used. However, when walking to the bus stop and crossing the street, sound should be turned down so that traffic can clearly be heard. Any content watched, listened to, or reached on mobile devices should not violate the law or school district policy while using the bus. Furthermore, these devices must not be used in a manner that distracts the driver.

To learn more about how to keep our young students safe on the bus, visit: https://www.napt.org/nsbsw

DII is your partner in school bus safety. Our team of experts can work with you to understand how to best protect your kids and our nation’s younger students and scholars. Please contact your DII representative for more information.  #SchoolBusSafety #NationalSchoolBusSafetyWeek #NAPT 

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