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Posted on: August 9, 2018

Reduce Back-to-School Anxiety with Safety Tips from Risk Management

School bus safety

Even though it doesn’t feel like it, summer is coming to an end and students are returning to class on August 13. Both parents and children may go through a period of adjustment to new schools and schedules for a couple of weeks. During this potentially anxious time, acquainting or re-acquainting yourself with School Zone regulations ensures a safer start to the school year.

Assistant Risk Manager Christina Ford shares important tips to keep young ones safe while traveling to and from school. Motorists, parents, students and pedestrians should review the following:

Walking to School Safety Tips

  • Use the sidewalk. If the road has no sidewalk, walk on the left side of the road facing traffic.
  • Cross at intersections using the marked crosswalks. Stay on the right-hand side of the crosswalk.
  • Look left, then right, then left again before proceeding through the crosswalk.
  • Do not wear headphones or use a cellphone while walking.
  • When possible, make eye contact with drivers before you cross. Do not run into the street for any reason.

School Bus Safety Tips

  • Get to the bus stop early to avoid having to rush.
  • If possible, don’t walk to and from the bus stop alone.
  • Stand back from the curb, at least 6 feet, as the bus approaches.
  • Never walk behind a bus.
  • Sit still once on the bus, so the driver can pay attention to the road.
  • Look both ways when crossing the street after getting off the bus, or wait for the driver to signal it's safe to cross.

Sharing the Road with School Buses

  • If driving behind a bus, allow a greater following distance than if you were driving behind a car. This gives you more time to stop once the yellow lights start flashing.
  • Never pass a bus from behind or from either direction if you're on an undivided road.
  • Remember, it is illegal in all 50 states to pass a school bus that is stopped to load or unload children.
  • If the yellow or red lights are flashing and the stop arm is extended, traffic must stop.
  • The area 10 feet around a school bus is the most dangerous for children. Stop far enough back to allow them space to safely enter and exit the bus.
  • Be alert; children are often unpredictable and may ignore hazards or take risks.

Video:  “School Bus Safety: Back-to-School Tips for Parents/Students

Driving around School Buses
Safety Tips for Motorists in School Zones

  • Stop for flashing red lights on a school bus, regardless of which direction you're headed.
  • Continue your trip once the bus has moved, the flashing lights stop flashing or the bus driver signals it's okay to pass.
  • Obey the posted speed limit. Fines for violations are double in school zones.
  • Watch for children who might dart across the street to catch the bus.

NOTE:  Visit the National Safety Council website for more information.


The City hopes all schools enjoy a safe and productive year!

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