Getting to & From School Safely
School bus transportation is safe. Even so, every year, students are injured or even killed in incidents involving school buses. More often than not, these injuries and deaths didn't occur in a crash, but as the pupils were entering and exiting the bus. Remember these safety tips:
Have a safe place to wait for your bus, and enter and leave the bus, away from traffic and busy streets.
Stay with a group of people while waiting for a bus.
Stay away from the bus until it comes to a complete stop and the driver signals you to enter.
When being dropped off, exit the bus and walk ten giant steps away from the bus. Always keep a safe distance between you and the bus. Also, remember that the bus driver can see you best when you are back away from the bus.
Don't go directly in front of or behind the bus.
Use the handrail to enter and exit the bus.
Be aware of the street traffic around you. Drivers are required to follow certain rules of the road concerning school buses, but some don't. Protect yourself and be aware of your surroundings at all times.
- Mind all traffic signals and the crossing guard and never cross the street against a light, even if you don't see any traffic coming.
- Walk your bike through intersections
- Walk and ride in well-lit areas, and never take shortcuts.
- Wear white or light colors, or reflective material because it makes you more visible to street traffic, especially at dawn, dusk or at night.
- Work out a safe route to school with your parents.
- Choose the quickest way with the fewest street crossings and use intersections with crossing guards.
- Stay away from parks, vacant lots, fields, and other places where there aren't many people around.
- When you ride on the road, your bike is a vehicle and you must obey traffic laws. That means riding in the direction the traffic is going; signaling when you are turning; and obeying traffic signs and signals.
- Don't turn left from the right lane. Don't go straight in a lane marked right-turn- only.
- Be predictable so drivers can see you and anticipate your movements. Make eye contact with drivers. Assume they don't see you until you are sure they do.
- Scan the road behind. Learn to look back over your shoulder without losing your balance or swerving left.
- Some riders use helmet-mounted or bike-mounted rear-view mirrors.
- Always look back before changing lanes or changing positions within your lane, and only move when no other vehicle is in your way.
- Go slowly on sidewalks and bike paths.
- People have the right-of-way. Give them audible (horn/bell/word) warning when you pass.
- Don't cross driveways or intersections without slowing to walker's pace and looking very carefully for traffic, especially traffic turning right.
- When on the road, ride in a straight line whenever possible.
- Stay about a car-door-width away from parked cars, so that if someone opens their car door in front of you, you won't be hit or run into it yourself.
- Ride with both hands on the handlebars. This allows you to control the bike better, and brake better.
- Use a pack or rack to carry things. Saddlebags, racks, baskets, and backpacks are all good ways to carry packages, freeing your hands for safe riding.
- Always wear a CSA, ANSI or Snell approved helmet. This reduces the potential for head injury by 85%. You can be injured or killed from a fall from a bike if you hit your unprotected head.