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This Week is National School Bus Safety Week

This week, October 22-26, 2018, has been designated National School Bus Safety Week, and this year’s theme is “My Driver – My Safety Hero!”

More than 25 million children take a school bus each day, and this week serves as a reminder to students, parents, teachers and the community of the role each individual plays in ensuring our children get to and from school safely.

The Ohio State Highway Patrol (OSHP) reminds motorists what to do if a bus is stopped:

  • Two-lane road: All lanes of traffic must come to a stop when a school bus is picking up or dropping off students.
  • Four-lane roads: Motorists are NOT required to stop when approaching a stopped school bus from the opposite direction upon a highway of four or more lanes. Only traffic proceeding in the same direction as the bus must stop.

OSHP reports that children are most at risk when they are outside the school bus. The National Association for Pupil Transportation (NAPT) offers the following tips for parents to keep children safe at the bus stop:

  • Have your child put everything in their backpack so they won’t drop things along the way.
  • Make sure children arrive at the bus stop before it is due, ideally at least five minutes early. Running after or in front of the bus is dangerous.
  • If your child must cross the street, make sure they look left, right, and left again before crossing.
  • Do not let children play in the street. Playing with balls or toys that could roll into the street is dangerous.
  • Warn children that if they drop something while getting on or off the bus, they should never pick it up. Instead, they should tell the driver and follow the driver’s instructions.
  • If you meet your child at the bus stop after school, wait on the side where the child will be dropped off, not across the street.
  • If your child takes a mobile device on the bus, they should make sure the sound is muted or headphones are used, and that the use does not create a distraction for the driver.

National School Bus Safety Week is a great way for motorists, parents, and the community to join forces and discuss the importance of bus safety. A special thank you to the school bus drivers – our members and retirees, and unsung heroes – for making our children’s safety a priority.