Let us discuss school bus safety – and what motorists should know.
When students take the bus instead of driving to school, they are 70 times more likely to arrive safely. Because school buses are the most heavily regulated vehicles on the road, they’re designed to be safer than passenger vehicles in terms of preventing collisions and injuries, and stop-arm rules protect children from other motorists in every state.
School buses are designed to be very visible and have safety elements such as flashing red lights, cross-view mirrors, and stop-sign arms, among others. They also have rollover protection, protected seats, and stringent crush standards.
Laws safeguard students boarding and disembarking from school buses by making it illegal for drivers to pass a school bus when dropping off or picking up passengers, regardless of approach direction.
Usage of seatbelts on school buses
Seat belts, without a doubt, serve a critical part in keeping passengers secure in these cars. School buses, on the other hand, are designed differently, with a distinct type of safety restraint system that works exceptionally well.
Large school buses are heavier than passenger cars and light trucks, and they distribute impact forces differently. Bus passengers are subjected to far less impact force than passengers in passenger cars, light trucks, and vans as a result of these factors. Children are protected from crashes by robust, closely-spaced seats with energy-absorbing seat backs thanks to compartmentalization.
All specified seating places on small school buses (with a gross vehicle weight rating of 10,000 pounds or less) must be equipped with lap and/or lap/shoulder belts. Seat belts are required for occupant protection in small school buses since their sizes and weights are similar to those of passenger cars and trucks.
Safety measures in bus stops
The most dangerous part of a bus ride for your youngster is approaching or exiting one. It’s critical for you and your child to understand traffic safety regulations before they return to school or begin school for the first time. To make school bus commuting safer, teach your child to follow these guidelines.
# 1 For Parents
> At least five minutes before the bus is expected to arrive, your child should appear at the bus stop. Show your youngster where to wait for the bus at the bus stop: at least three huge steps (six feet) away from the curb. Remind your youngster that the bus stop is not a suitable location for running or playing.
> Before approaching the bus door, your child should wait until the bus comes to a complete stop, the door opens, and the driver confirms it’s all right. To avoid falling, your youngster should use the handrails.
> Never allow your child to stroll behind a school bus. If your child needs to cross the street in front of the bus, instruct him or her to walk on a sidewalk or along the side of the road for at least five huge steps (10 feet) before crossing. Before crossing the street, your child should make eye contact with the bus driver to ensure that he or she is visible to the driver. If your child drops something near the school bus, such as a ball or a book, it is best if your child immediately informs the bus driver. Because the driver may not be able to see your child, he or she should not attempt to pick up the item.
# 2 For drivers
Follow these guidelines to make school bus traveling safer for everyone:
Keep an eye out for children walking or bicycling to school when backing out of a driveway or leaving a garage.
When driving through school zones, keep an eye out for young people who may be thinking on going to school, but not necessarily about getting there safely.
Take it easy. Keep an eye out for children strolling along the street, especially if the neighborhood lacks sidewalks.
Keep an eye out for kids who are playing and congregating around bus stops.
Keep your eyes peeled. Arriving late for the bus, children may dart into the street without checking for traffic.
Learn and follow your state’s school bus legislation, as well as the “flashing signal light system” used by school bus drivers to warn vehicles of impending actions:
The bus is approaching a stop to load or unload children, as indicated by the flashing yellow lights.
Drivers should slow down and prepare to come to a complete halt.
The bus has come to a halt with red flashing lights and extended stop arms, indicating that children are boarding or disembarking.
Before proceeding again, motorists must halt their cars and wait until the red lights stop flashing, the extended stop-arm is withdrawn, and the bus starts moving.
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