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Ask A State Trooper: Back to School Safety

August 10, 2023 01:00 PM
By: Ready PA

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​As a parent, there's nothing more exciting than seeing your children off to school for another year. It's a time filled with new opportunities, growth, and learning. 

But as much as we want our children to thrive in their academic environments, our top priority as parents is always their safety. That's why, even after our children have already left for their first day of classes, we still can't help but worry about their safety on their way to and from school. 

So, we reached out to a state trooper for some tips and advice that can help our children stay safe.

This is my child's first year riding the school bus; what should I know?

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, school buses are the safest vehicle on the road. Your child is much safer taking a bus to and from school than traveling by car.

Here is some good information to know:

  • Get to the bus stop at least five minutes before your bus is scheduled to arrive.
  • Line up at least five giant steps away from the curb or roadway to wait for the bus.
  • Be aware – cross with care! Wait until the school bus has stopped all traffic before approaching the bus.
  • Never push when getting on or off the bus. 
  • Walk at least 10 feet in front of the bus when crossing so that the school bus driver can see you.
  • Never cross the street behind the school bus.
  • Wait until the bus stops, the door opens and the driver says it’s okay to board before stepping onto the bus. 
  • If your child drops something near the bus, have them tell the bus driver right away. This ensures the driver can see them while they safely retrieve the item.
  • Never run after the school bus if it has already left the bus stop. 
  • When the school bus is moving, stay in your seat and face forward. Never put your head, arms or hands out of the window.
  • Always listen to your school bus driver’s instructions so they can make safe decisions.
  • Talk quietly on the bus, and do not distract the school bus driver.
  • Never play with emergency exits. Backpacks, band instruments or sports equipment can’t block the aisle or emergency exits. If there is an emergency, listen to the bus driver and follow instructions.

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