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Some 25 million students nationwide begin and end their day with a trip on a school bus. Designed for safety, with flashing lights, giant mirrors, stop-sign arms and that bright yellow color, students are far more likely to get to school safely when taking a school bus than traveling by car, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

School buses are designed to protect students through compartmentalization – closely spaced seats and high, energy-absorbing seat backs. Seat belts protect students, too.

In 2015, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration stated its support for lap and shoulder belts on buses, and NSC has joined in support of this position to ensure the safest ride for children.

Tips for a Safe Ride

School buses are the safest way for students to travel. Nearly two-thirds of school bus-related fatalities of school-age children occur outside of the school bus. Children need to do their part to stay safe both in and around school buses:

At the Bus Stop:

● Arrive early at the bus stop – at least five minutes before the bus is scheduled to arrive

● Stand 6 feet (or three giant steps) away from the curb while waiting for the bus

● Supervise young children

Around the Bus

● Cross in front of the bus – at least 10 feet (or five giant steps) – and make eye contact with the driver before crossing

● Never walk behind the bus

● If you drop something near the bus, do not pick it up; tell the bus driver instead

Getting On/Off the Bus

● Wait until the bus has stopped and the door opens before approaching the bus or standing up on the bus

● Use the handrail

● Secure any loose or hanging objects like straps on a backpack or drawstrings on a hood

Behavior on the Bus:

● Buckle up if seat belts are available

● Stay in your seat keeping head, arms and papers inside the bus, and talk quietly

● Keep aisles clear of books and bags

National School Bus Safety Week

National School Bus Safety Week, held during the third full week of October each year, focuses on the importance of school bus safety. The theme for 2021 is, “Be Safe; Know the Danger Zone.”