Top 10 Tips for Keeping Kids Safe on the Bus

Written by: Lianne Castelino

Published: Sep 5, 2010

Throughout the summer, kids may be closer to home than usual, travelling to the neighbour’s yard for a dip in the pool rather than blocks away to their school.

With the new school year upon us, it’s a good time for parents to get their kids reacquainted with the importance of taking safety precautions when travelling to and from school – whether they walk or take the bus.

“Parents should share [bus safety tips] with their children, regardless if they are frequent users of school bus services or not,” explains Silvana Aceto, spokesperson for CAA, noting the importance of acting appropriately both on or around motor vehicles. “Motorists also play a pivotal role in school bus safety and are required by law to obey all traffic laws regarding schools buses.  Failing to stop for a school bus can result in up to six demerit points and some hefty fines, so make sure you come to a complete stop when you see those familiar flashing red lights.”

CAA’s Top Tips for kids travelling on the school bus:

Getting on/off the bus:

1) Be at the bus stop on time.

2) Avoid running to or from the bus

3) Wait for the bus in a safe place that is good distance from the side of the road.

4) Be aware of the danger zone, which is close enough to the bus to
touch it. The bus driver 
cannot see individuals if they are in this

5) When crossing the street, wait until the bus and traffic has come to a complete stop. The 
bus driver will make sure that traffic stopsand it’s safe to board the bus. Use the hand rail when boarding or exiting the bus.

On the bus:

6) Sit facing forwards at all time.

7) Bags and parcels should be placed on your lap.

8) Keep feet out of the aisle to avoid tripping people as they enter and exit the bus.

9) Keep your head and arms inside the bus. Never throw anything out of the windows.

10) No fighting, shouting, playing or throwing things around the bus. Always follow the bus driver’s instructions.

In response to the consistent need to maintain students’ safety, CAA has developed its School Safety Patrol program, which teaches school-aged children the importance of bus and traffic safety, training students as patrollers to make sure their fellow classmates are safe getting on and off the bus, as well as crossing the street. The patrollers learn life saving and leadership skills which last a lifetime.

CAA summer camp graduates’ schools are set to benefit from patrollers’ bus and traffic safety, bus evacuation skills, and first aid– including how to properly use a fire extinguisher. Aceto explains that teaching children basic safety skills like those taught at CAA’s camp translate beyond the bus.

“During CAA’s summer camp, [one student] learned how to properly use a fire extinguisher during a demonstration from the Oshawa fire department,” relates Aceto. “A few months later, he used those skills to put out a fire in his own home, preventing disaster.”

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