School Bus Safety Tips for Parents, Kids, and Drivers

What are your memories of riding the school bus? Do you have fond memories of waiting at the bus stop or sitting in the back with your best friends? Or do you just remember the school bus as a sweaty, loud, and bumpy experience? Whatever your memories of the school bus are, you’re probably about to relive some of them as school starts up again in Tampa Bay.

Across the United States, around 25 million children take the bus to school every day. That means that there are around 480,000 buses on the roads every day. With 104,000 students in Pinellas County and 206,841 students in Hillsborough County, the Tampa Bay area sees its fair share of them.

Since school starts in just a few days, it’s time to brush up on school bus safety!

For Drivers:

Even if you don’t have school-aged children, buses are nearly impossible to ignore during the school year. When you encounter a school bus on the road, what are you supposed to do?

If a school bus is stopped with its red lights on or the stop arm extended, other drivers on the road must stop. This not only refers to drivers directly behind the school bus, but also drivers traveling on the same road, even in the opposite direction. For example, if you’re driving on a two-lane road in the right lane, you still need to stop. On the other hand, if you are traveling on a divided highway with an unpaved space of at least five feet, a raised median, or another kind of physical barrier, you are not required to stop for a school bus when traveling in the opposite direction.

When you are stopped behind or near a school bus, come to a full stop. Do not get impatient and try to drive around the bus, no matter how tempting it is.

Remember, Florida law also requires school buses to stop at railroad tracks. If you are traveling behind a bus in an area with railroad tracks, keep this in mind.

For Students

Riding the school bus can be an important rite of passage for students. Plus, it’s a lot safer than riding in the car. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, students are 70 times more likely to get to school safely in a school bus instead of traveling by car. This is because school buses are heavily regulated, and are designed with safety features like seats that absorb the impact of a crash.

Still, students can help ensure that their ride on the bus goes smoothly by following some basic tips. On the school bus, children should:

  • Wear a seatbelt, if one is available
  • Stay seated when the bus is in motion
  • Know where the emergency exists are, and pay attention during any safety drills
  • Keep the aisle clear of backpacks and other materials
  • Keep noise to a minimum, as yelling or loud music could distract the driver
  • Stay out of the street when waiting for the bus

Whether you’re a student, parent or guardian, or a driver getting ready for the chaos of back-to-school traffic, remember to keep bus safety in mind all year long!

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The attorneys at Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes represent those involved in car accidents, motorcycle accidents, bicycle accidents, pedestrian accidents, and other types of personal injury matters. Our firm is one of the oldest personal injury law firms in Tampa Bay. There are no attorneys’ fees or costs unless we prevail for you. Call our office 24 hours a day at 727-796-8282 or simply click here to schedule a free case consultation.

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