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School Bus Safety

Every year, more than 20 million children across North America ride school buses. At Thomas Built Buses, it is our duty to do everything in our power to ensure their safety. That begins with the design and build of our school buses, all of which meet or exceed FMVSS/CMVSS standards.

Share these safety tips with your students with this printable PDF:

Bus Safety Tips (50KB PDF)
Safety tips for students at the bus stop
  • Walk, donít run to your bus stop.
  • Get to your bus stop five minutes early. And never chase or approach the bus while itís moving, even if youíre a dog.
  • Donít play around at the bus stop. Pay attention to your surroundings. Listening to music or playing video games can distract you from watching for traffic.
  • Stay out of the street while waiting for the bus.
  • Stay at least 10 giant steps from a moving school bus, so the bus driver can see you.
  • Wait for the bus to stop completely before you move toward it to get on.
  • Look both ways before crossing the street.
  • Get in a single file line to board the bus. No pushing.
  • Stay away from the bus wheels at all times. The driver cannot see you there.
  • Items with straps and strings, like hoodies and book bags, can get stuck on the handrail or in the door as you get on or off the bus.
  • If you must cross the street, first wait for your driverís signal that itís safe to cross. Second, always cross in front of the bus where the driver can see you. Never, ever cross behind the bus.
  • If you drop something outside the bus, tell the driver. When they give you the safe sign, pick it up.
  • Watch out for other traffic when walking to and from the bus stop.
Thomas Built Buses Type C buses

Type C buses feature Saf-T-Net construction, including side skirt reinforcement, extended roof bows and a welded header and rafter system to ensure maximum passenger safety. We also use double-bolted body mounting clips and Saf-T-Bond adhesive joints. And our one-piece, bonded windshield provides exceptional visibility among typical Type C buses. We even included our new BusWiseô Technologies on the Saf-T-Linerģ C2 school bus to give drivers more tools when transporting students safely to and from school.

Safety tips for students on the bus
  • Use the handrail to get on and off the bus. Falling is no fun.
  • When you enter the bus, find your seat and quickly sit down.
  • Always obey and respect your bus driver. Remember, theyíre responsible for keeping you safe.
  • Shhhhhhhh, use your inside voice.
  • Donít leave books, trash, homework or your little brother in the aisle.
  • Keep your hands, arms and head inside the bus. At least until itís time to get off.
  • Donít touch the emergency door or windows.
  • If you see someone being bullied, immediately let your driver or teacher know. Buses are NO-BULLY ZONES.
  • Stay in your seat until the bus comes to a complete stop. That means donít stand up.
  • Always get off the bus at your stop, never at a different stop.
  • Remember, riding a bus is the easiest thing youíll do today.
Thomas Built Buses Type D buses

Type D buses feature double-bolted body mounting clips. The roof bows extend all the way to the bottom of side panels to provide superior protection in the event of a side impact.

Safety tips for parents
  • Make sure you always drop off and pick up your child at the designated bus stop Ė not across the street. Children can sometimes get excited to see you after school and dart across the road without looking.
  • Be sure someone responsible walks with your child and waits with them at the bus stop. It is not safe for a single child to wait alone for the bus, and it is easier for drivers to see more than one person.
  • Before you leave the house, put everything that your child will need into their backpack so they wonít drop items along the way. Make sure all loose straps, drawstrings, etc. are secured so they wonít get caught in the handrail or door of the bus as they are entering or exiting.
  • If possible, dress your child in bright, contrasting colors so drivers can easily see them. Take extra precaution when they are waiting at the bus stop in the dark. In cold weather, dress your child in a warm hat instead of having them wear a hood. Hoods can make it more difficult for them to hear and see traffic as they are crossing the street.
  • Make sure your child leaves for the bus stop at a reasonable time to avoid rushing or running.
  • Show your child how to safely walk to the bus stop. Always walk on the sidewalk when possible, stay out of the street. If you must walk in the road, walk as close to the side of the road as possible, and always walk facing oncoming traffic.
  • Be mindful of school bus safety when you are on the road. Watch for blinking amber lights on a school bus, which means it is coming to a stop and be sure to ALWAYS stop when the stop arm is extended.
Thomas Built Buses Type A buses

Type A buses are built with the strength of a full-size school bus with the added features of safety cage body construction with one-piece, skirt-to-skirt roof bows and two internal roof crash rails for rollover protection.

Itís no wonder that the safest way to and from school is on a school bus. In fact, riding a school bus is 13 times safer than riding in the family vehicle. And children are 50 times more likely to arrive at school safely on a bus than driving themselves or riding with friends. When you consider nearly 500,000 school buses travel an estimated 10 billion miles per year, that safety statistic is quite an achievement.

That said, the most dangerous aspect of riding a school bus is passenger safety getting on and off a bus. It is vital that passengers take their time, paying attention to surrounding traffic and making sure that the bus driver can see them at all times.

This content is brought to you by Thomas Built Buses and First Student

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