The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Police Logs

September 6, 2013

Ask a Trooper: How safe are school buses?

— A: Riding on a school bus is the safest way for your child to travel to and from school, yes, safer than riding in a parent’s vehicle. The greatest risk is approaching or leaving the school bus – the 10 feet surrounding the bus is the danger zone.

  • School buses are designed to be safer than passenger vehicles

              in avoiding crashes and preventing injury.

  • School buses keep an annual estimated 17.3 million

               cars off roads surrounding schools each morning.


For Children

  • Stand 6 feet away from curb/roadway when waiting for bus.
  • Wait for driver to say it is safe to board and use the handrails; do not wear loose items.
  • Ask the driver for help if you dropped something when getting off the bus.
  • Go directly to your seat and remain, facing forward. Only three children can be in a seat if the entire third student is on the seat and not in the isle.
  • Be respectful and quite; the bus driver’s job is to safely drive the bus.


For Parents

  • Make sure children also look for traffic for themselves – left and right –

              making sure no one is passing the school bus on either side.

  • The bus driver’s job is to operate the bus safely, and driving is a full time job. Instruct riders about respectful behavior and conduct on the bus while keeping voices down.


For Vehicle Drivers

  • SCAN roadways and sidewalks for buses and/or pedestrians constantly.
  • Re-route yourself around school bus routes or leave earlier/later to avoid school buses.
  • Look for lower speed zones and school zones – they are strictly enforced.
  • Stop for school bus if following or oncoming. If you are oncoming and there is a median or grass divide between you and the school bus you do not have to stop.
  • Learn the flashing lights on a school bus:
    • YELLOW Flashing Lights – indicates the school bus is preparing to stop and so should you and then stop, not getting closer than 20 feet at any time – do not creep up while waiting for stop arm to be pulled in.
    • RED Flashing Lights and an extended Stop Arm means the bus has stopped and children will be loading or unloading. Drivers must stop, and remain stopped, until the lights stop flashing, the stop arm is withdrawn, and the bus begins to move.
  • Report school bus drivers, you witness, who do not use the system properly.
  • Report to your school if children are standing in the bus.
  • School bus may not have enough seats for students.

              (seating for everyone must be provided)

  • School bus drivers should not move bus until everyone is seated.


Text Only | Photo Reprints
Police Logs