National School Bus Safety Week / October 16-20, 2023

Statistically, school buses are the safest way to transport school children. Yet more injuries and fatalities occur outside of or near a school bus because a motorist has failed to obey the stop-arm warning or to follow local traffic laws.

  • From 2011 and 2020, there were 1.6 times more fatalities among pedestrians (183) than occupants of school buses (113) in school-bus-related crashes.
  • A total of 218 school-age children (18 and younger) died in school-bus-related crashes during that period, either as occupants of school buses or other vehicles, or on foot or bike.
  • Of the 218 deaths, 85 were children who were walking.

Respect the “Danger Zone”

The school bus loading and unloading area is called the “Danger Zone”. Specifically, this is any side of the bus where a child may not be seen by the bus driver and, therefore, is in the most danger.  Let’s work together to keep our children safe as they wait to ride the bus to and from school.

Safety Reminders for Motorists

  • The overall best practice is to “always stop if there’s a school bus.”
  • Yellow flashing lights indicate the bus is preparing to stop to load or unload children. Motorists should slow down and prepare to stop their vehicles.
  • Motorists may begin moving only when the red flashing lights are turned off, the stop arm is withdrawn, and the bus begins to move.
  • Never pass on the right side of the bus, where children enter or exit. This is illegal and can have tragic results.
  • The greatest risk to a child isn’t riding a school bus but approaching or leaving one. That’s why, as a vehicle driver, it is especially important to pay attention. Students’ lives are on the line.
  • Slow Down. Watch for children walking in the street, especially if there are no sidewalks in the neighborhood. Watch for children playing and gathering near bus stops.
  • Don’t drive distracted. Be alert. Children arriving for the bus may dart into the street without looking for traffic.
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