The Missouri State Highway Patrol recognizes the importance of bus safety and inspects every school bus in the state each year. We want children to arrive at school safely. Students can do their part by being good riders. October 21-25, 2019 is National School Bus Safety Week! Parents, please take this opportunity to talk with your children about their responsibilities as a passenger. Ask your children, “How do you ride the school bus?”
Please impress upon your children the importance of being a safe rider. Here are some basic safety rules for children riding a school bus:
• While at the bus stop, pay attention to your surroundings and stay on the sidewalk or shoulder of the road.
• Be at the bus stop on time.
• Board the bus single file, without pushing.
• Stay seated while the bus is in motion.
• Never put your head or any part of your body outside the bus window.
• Never throw anything out a bus window.
• Keep the aisle clear of books, lunch boxes, backpacks, musical instruments, etc.
• Talk quietly to your neighbor; never shout.
• If a student must cross the street after disembarking, they should remain at least 10 feet in front of the bus. If your student can see the bus driver, the bus driver can see your student! Always check both directions before crossing.
• If there is an emergency, listen to the bus driver for instructions.
Good behavior on the school bus can help prevent a traffic crash. Eliminating distractions and being able to hear other traffic is helpful to the bus driver. In 2018, five people were killed and 457 people were injured in 969 traffic crashes involving school buses.
Missouri law states that on a two-lane road, if a school bus is stopped and displaying warning signals while loading or unloading children, drivers must stop when meeting and following the bus. However, it is only necessary to stop on a four-lane highway when following the bus. Drivers, when you see a stopped school bus, stay alert and follow the law. Children may not be aware of traffic and dart unexpectedly into the roadway.