Do your school bus homework together

Reviewing these ten school bus safety tips could save your child's life

As passenger transportation safety records go, the Ontario school bus industry has one of the best. We're not perfect. But we are committed to finding better ways to protect the safety of your child and the 800,000 others that ride school buses in Ontario every school day. We believe that parents can help us make a difference.

Statistically speaking, your child is most vulnerable to serious injury in a school bus-related accident before boarding or after leaving the vehicle, rather than while actually riding the bus. There are blind spots or "danger zones" around the school bus which represent a real threat to a child who lingers there. And of course there is the ever-present danger from other traffic on the road while a child is crossing the street or waiting at a bus stop.

Through safety education at school and at home, we can improve the probability that your child will arrive safely at school and safely back home very day. Take the time to find out what school bus safety training is available at your child's school, and, if parents are invited to participate, try to attend to lend your support. And please review with your child this important "school bus homework". You never know when a few moments of preparation is going to save your child's life.

There is simply no substitute for adult supervision.
If you, or perhaps another parent in the area, can take children to the bus stop, do it! If you can meet children right at the school bus stop, do it! You'll really appreciate knowing that your child is being supervised, and is protected from hazards such as crossing a busy street alone.

  1. "Get to the bus stop in plenty of time."
    It is very easy to trip and fall on the road when you are hurrying to catch a bus.
  2. "Behave yourself at the bus stop."
    You won't be completely safe from traffic unless you stand way back from the curb, and don't push or wrestle with your friends. Stay put, and then line up nicely when the bus comes.
  3. "Make sure the bus is stopped before you try to get on."
    There is up to five tons of school bus rolling down the road toward you and we don't want you slipping under the wheels. After the bus stops and the door opens, then you take hold of the handrail and get onto the bus. Take care, it's a big step for a little person!
  4. "Go right to your seat and sit quietly."
    The driver can't keep asking a whole lot of kids to behave and concentrate on driving the bus safely at the same time. Pretend you're out with us, driving in the car, and make us proud of you.
  5. "Obey the bus driver as you obey us."
    Your bus driver is just as concerned with your safety as we are. When the driver asks you to do something or stop doing something, don't talk back or make a fuss. There's a good reason for it.
  6. "Take ten steps forward from the front of the bus before you turn to cross the road."
    The bus is so big and you're so little, that the driver can't see you properly at the very front of the bus. An easy way to remember is: if you can see the driver, then the driver can see you. Keep this in mind if you have to cross the street to get on the bus, too.
  7. "Watch the driver to see when to cross the road."
    The driver has a good view of the road from way up there in the bus, and can wave you across when there are no cars coming. If you have a safety patroller, follow your patroller's directions.
  8. "You are more important to us than your jacket or a test paper."
    Never, ever, run behind or in front of the school bus to pick up something that you dropped, or forgot. We won't scold you if your jacket or lunch box gets run over, as long as you're okay!
  9. "Come right home."
    We know you can hardly wait to play after a day at school, but we'd rather have you playing at home where you are safe, than playing out in the street.
  10. "If you have a problem, tell us or the bus driver."
    It's okay to tell on someone who is bothering you at the bus stop or while you're on the school bus. We can only help you if we know something is wrong. And don't ever be afraid to ask questions.