Driver Beware – Use Caution Around Bus Stops, School Crossings
Over the years, several states saw tragic incidents involving pedestrians at bus stops and school crossings, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports. Here in the Santa Clarita Valley, a number of these incidents occurred throughout 2019.
Looking to make 2020 safer year, here are some tips courtesy of the NHTSA and the National Association for Pupil Transportation:
Driving? Be Alert!
Always slow down when you’re near a school. Keep a close eye out for pedestrians who may be walking or biking to or from school, gathering at bus stops, or using school crossings.
If you see a school bus, remember to:
Slow down and prepare to stop if the lights on the bus start flashing yellow. This means the bus is preparing to stop to pick up or let off children.
Stop if you see flashing red lights on the bus and the bus extends its stop arm (which is a stop sign that extends from the side of the bus). This means children are getting on or off the bus. Don’t start driving again until the red lights stop flashing, the stop arm is withdrawn and the bus starts moving.
Kids: Keep safety in mind!
It’s also important to be safe on the way to and from the bus stop, as well as while waiting for and boarding and exiting the bus. These tips can help:
Help kids leave on time.
Ideally, they should arrive at the bus stop at least five minutes early. If kids are late getting to the bus stop, they may try to run to catch the bus (which is dangerous).
Review some basic road rules.
For instance, make sure they know to:
Watch for cars.
Use sidewalks whenever possible.
Look left, right and then left again when crossing a street.
Inform your family about these bus-stop behaviors:
No running, wrestling, pushing or other active play.
Stay at least three giant steps from the curb. When the bus arrives, don’t approach it until it comes to a full stop, the door opens and the bus driver says it’s OK to come on board.
Never walk behind the bus. Buses are big, and the driver might not see you. If you have to cross in front of the bus, stay at least five giant steps away from it, and make eye contact with the bus driver so you know he or she can see you.
If you drop something when getting on or off the bus, tell the bus driver. Don’t go back to pick it up.
Finally, if you pick up your child at the bus stop, wait on the same side as the bus—not across the street. Your child, excited to see you, might run across the street before it is safe.
Henry Mayo encourages all to drive safely and with extra caution in the New Year.
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