School Bus Safety Tips

Teach your child to get on and off the bus safely

  • When getting on the bus, stay away from the danger zone and wait for the driver's signal.  Board the bus one at a time.

  • When getting off the bus, look before stepping off the bus to be sure no cars are passing on the shoulder (side of the road).  Move away from the bus.

  • Before crossing the street, take five "giant steps" out from the front of the bus, or until the driver's face can be seen.  Wait for the driver to signal that it's safe to cross.

  • Look left-right-left when coming to the edge of the bus to make sure traffic is stopped.  Keep watching traffic when crossing.

Safety steps you can take:

  • Supervise children to make sure they get to the stop on time, wait far away from the road, and avoid rough play.

  • Teach your child to ask the driver for help if he/she drops something near the bus.  If a child bends down to pick up something, the driver cannot see him/her and the child may be hit by the bus.  Have your child use a backpack or book bag to keep loose items together.

  • Make sure clothing and backpacks have no loose drawstrings or long straps, to get caught in the handrail or bus door.

  • Encourage safe school bus loading and unloading.

  • If you think a bus stop is in a dangerous place, talk with your school transportation office.

Learn and follow school bus stop laws

Laws exist to protect children getting on and off the bus and protect you from a tragedy Here are some rules:

  • Vehicles must stop when the bus displays flashing red warning lights and extends the stop signal arms.  Vehicles may not pass until the flashing red lights and signals are turned off.

  • Vehicles traveling in the same direction or opposite direction as the bus are always required to stop. 

  • Never pass on the right side of the bus where children enter or exit.  This is illegal and can have tragic results.

For more information, contact the DOT Auto Safety Hotline at 1-888-DASH-2-DOT or