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Bus safety tips every child should know

Today marked the first day of the 2016-2017 school year for several counties in West Virginia. Many students begin and end their day with a trip on a school bus. Designed for safety, with flashing lights, giant mirrors, high seat backs and that bright yellow color, school buses are the safest way for students to travel, but children also need to do their part to stay alert and aware of their surroundings to prevent injury. Warner Law Offices urges parents to teach their children the following safety rules for getting on and off the bus, and for exercising good behavior while riding:

Getting on the Bus:

  • When waiting for the bus, stay away from traffic and avoid roughhousing or other behavior that can lead to carelessness
  • Do not stray onto the street, alleys or private property
  • Line up away from the street or road as the bus approaches
  • Wait until the bus has stopped and the door opens before approaching the bus
  • Use the handrail when boarding

Behavior on the Bus:

  • If seat belts are available on the bus, buckle up
  • Don't speak loudly or make loud noises that could distract the driver
  • Stay in your seat
  • Don't put your head, arms or hands out the window
  • Keep aisles clear of books and bags
  • Get your belongings together before reaching your stop
  • Wait for the bus to stop completely before getting up from your seat

Getting Off the Bus:

  • Use the handrail when exiting
  • If you have to cross in front of the bus, first walk at least 10 feet ahead until you can see the driver
  • Make sure the driver can see you
  • Wait for a signal from the driver before crossing
  • When the driver signals, look left, right, then left again. Walk across the road and keep an eye out for sudden traffic changes
  • If your vision is blocked, move to an area where you can see other drivers and they can see you
  • Do not cross the center line of the road until the driver signals it is safe
  • Stay away from the rear wheels of the bus at all times

More school-age pedestrians have been killed during the hour before and after school than any other time of day, according to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. And, although drivers are required by law to stop for a school bus when it's loading or unloading passengers, they often don't. Please make sure that your children know and follow these rules to ensure a safe and happy school year for everyone.

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