school bus

It is that time of year when children return to school. With the excitement and distractions associated with school, both students and drivers must pay extra care to ensure that a tragedy does not occur.

In the past two years, Missouri had the following school bus-related incidents:

In 2003, a 9-year-old student was struck and killed by a vehicle driven by a young driver, who ignored the bus’ flashing lights and stop arm. Also the same year, a six-year-old student got off the bus, walked across the street and was struck while returning back across the street to the side he was originally on.

In 2004, a 15-year-old teenager was standing in the aisle of a moving school bus. This activity distracted the driver, causing the bus to strike another vehicle. The teenager was thrown towards the front of the bus and died due to events surrounding the accident. Also the same year, a 5-year-old student dropped an item next to the bus and bent to pick it up. The driver was not aware that the child had not moved away from the bus, and subsequently, the bus ran over the child.

These are some simple steps to take that can keep Missouri’s children safe:

Students boarding buses should:

  • Be at the school bus stop on time.
  • Wait safely away from the edge of the road.
  • Not move towards the bus until it has come to a complete stop.
  • Not play in or alongside roadways.
  • Board the bus one at a time, holding the hand rail when going up the steps.
  • Quickly find a seat and remain seated, facing forward at all times.
  • Not place anything in the aisle way.
  • Avoid rowdy behavior. Do not throw things, eat or drink.
  • Do not stick any items, including body parts (arms, head), out of the bus windows.
  • Never distract the bus driver. Always follow his or her instructions.
  • When leaving the bus, move away from the bus.
  • If you drop something near the bus, never try to pick it up. It is likely the bus driver can't see you. Ask the driver or an adult to help.

When a student crosses the street to get on or off the bus, they should:

  • Walk at least 10 full steps in front of the bus, along the side of the road and look at the driver for a signal, before crossing.
  • Look all directions before crossing the road.
  • Walk, never run, to the other side of the road.

For more information visit these Internet Web sites:

School Bus Safety
Halloween Safety
Hunting and gun Safety