School buses are one of the safest forms of transportation on the road today.
In fact, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration,
riding a bus to school is 13 times safer than riding in a passenger vehicle and
10 times safer than walking to school.
The reality of school bus safety is that more children are hurt outside the bus
than inside as passengers. Most of the children who lose their lives in
bus-related crashes are pedestrians, four to seven years old, who are hit by
the bus or by motorists illegally passing a stopped school bus.
For this reason, it is necessary to know the proper laws and procedures for
sharing the road safely with school buses:
• All 50 states have a law making it illegal to pass a school bus that is
stopped to load or unload children.
• School buses use yellow flashing lights to alert motorists that they are
preparing to stop to load or unload children. Red flashing lights and an
extended stop sign arm signals to motorists that the bus is stopped and
children are getting on or off the bus.
• All 50 states require that traffic in both directions stop on undivided
roadways when students are entering or exiting a school bus.
• While state laws vary on what is required on a divided roadway, in all cases,
traffic behind the school bus (traveling in the same direction) must stop.
• The area 10 feet around a school bus is where children are in the most danger
of being hit. Stop your car far enough from the bus to allow children the
necessary space to safely enter and exit the bus.