• By Ashleigh Sloop
  • Posted Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Back to School Safety Tips

School Bus Safety

Every day millions of students use school buses as transportation to and from school. Although school buses represent the safest form of highway transportation, there are a number of safety factors of which both student and drivers should be aware. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), an average of 134 people die in school transportation-related traffic crashes each year and more school-aged pedestrians have been killed during the hours of 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. than any other time of day.

It is crucial for parents to reinforce school bus safety rules children learn at school. Below are safety measures parents can use to help ensure safe travels.

  • Drive the bus route with your child to practice proper safety precautions.
  • Arrive at the bus stop at least 5 minutes early.
  • While the bus is approaching make sure to stand at least three giant steps away from the curb. Wait until the bus has come to a complete stop and the driver says that it’s OK to board.
  • Always walk on the sidewalk when preparing to cross the street near a bus. Make eye contact with the driver so that you are sure he or she sees you.
  • Never walk behind the bus.
  • If you are walking beside the bus, walk at least three giant steps away.
  • Use the handrail when entering and exiting the bus.
  • Never stop to pick something up that you have dropped when a bus is stopped. Tell the bus driver or wait until the bus has driven off to avoid not being seen by the driver.

Motorists must also remember school bus safety and driving laws. Children are unpredictable in their actions, especially when playing. Take extreme caution when travelling through a school zone. Slow down and prepare to stop when a bus engages its yellow flashing lights. Never pass a school bus when there are flashing red lights and the stop arm is extended. Drivers must wait until the red lights stop flashing, the stop arm is withdrawn, and the bus is moving before they can start driving again.

Campus Safety

This fall, thousands of students will leave their families and friends to attend college. For many, it will be their first time away from home and also their first experience with total independence. It’s an exciting and potentially dangerous time. College campuses are extremely vulnerable to crime because of their openness. It is difficult to keep buildings and dorm rooms secure due to the high volume of foot traffic of students and staff.

However, college students can enhance personal safety by following the suggestions below:

  • Never post information as to your whereabouts on social media or hall doors. If an intruder knows that you are away, it’s an open invitation for them to break in.
  • Lock your door-even if you plan to be away for a few minutes.
  • When meeting a study partner for the first time, make arrangements to meet in a public place.
  • Encourage campus security to establish a photo identification program to deter outsiders from entering school buildings.
  • Work with your local law enforcement to organize a safety education program to teach incoming students campus safety.
  • Familiarize yourself with emergency call box locations.
  • Learn to trust your instincts. If you feel uncomfortable in a situation, get out of it. Don’t allow anyone to violate your comfort zone.

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