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School bus safety tips

The school bus is one of the safest ways to travel. Follow these  steps  when you're picking up or dropping off your children at the bus stop and teach them about staying safe.

What you can do

If you pick up or drop off your children at the bus stop:

  • wait on the same side of the road as the bus stop

  • park your car well away from the bus stop or other children

  • teach your children about safe bus behaviour – and practice it with them

  • encourage your children to wait quietly at the stop and to keep away from the road.

If your children make their own way to or from the bus stop:

  • teach your child the safest route from their house to the bus stop the route with the fewest road crossings and least traffic

  • if they have to cross the road after getting off the bus, teach them to wait until the bus has moved away and they can see up and down the road clearly

  • dress them in brightly coloured or reflectorised clothing that can be easily seen by drivers.

You can also encourage your school to establish a bus warden system.

What to teach your children

Waiting for the bus

  • Wait at the nominated bus stop area.

  • Keep well away from the road edge.

  • Wait quietly, avoid playing games where you might end up running onto the road.

Getting on the bus

  • Form a single line.

  • Make sure the bus has stopped before you try to get on.

  • Don't push. Be patient and let those in front of you get on without any shoving or pushing.

  • Carry your backpack or school bag it may get caught in the door if you wear it.

  • Let younger children on first.

Riding on the bus

  • Quickly choose your seat and sit down.

  • Put your bag on your lap or under your seat keep the bus aisle clear.

  • Stay in your seat until the bus has stopped.

  • Follow what the bus driver or bus warden tells you to do.

  • If you have to stand, put your bag on the floor and hold onto a seat back or handrail.

Getting off the bus

  • Get off the bus carefully, without pushing.

  • After you get off the bus, wait as far away from the edge of the road as you can, until the bus has moved away.

  • If you need to cross the road, wait until the bus has driven past and you can see clearly up and down the road before crossing. Always use the kerb drill to cross.

  • Stand well clear of the bus if it is turning or reversing.

Setting up a school bus warden system

Bus wardens responsible senior students help promote safe behaviour on school buses. The wardens' tasks are to:

  • help students travel to and from school safely

  • help parents look after their children

  • notify bus drivers of any passenger changes and prevent students from distracting them.

You can suggest that your child's school sets up a bus warden system. Together the school, bus operator, parents and the local police school community officer decide whether a system is needed.

Find out more on setting up a bus warden team in the School traffic safety manual. (external link)

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