Child Safety Awareness
School Bus Safety
Florida school buses carry precious cargo – our children. Motorists should always be alert and drive with caution around school buses and in school zones where children may be present.
Motorist and School Bus Safety Tips:
- All drivers moving in either direction on a two-way street must stop for a school bus displaying a stop signal, and must remain stopped until the road is clear of children AND the school bus stop arm is withdrawn.
- On a highway divided by a paved median, all drivers moving in either direction must stop for a school bus displaying a stop signal, and must remain stopped until the road is clear of children AND the school bus stop arm is withdrawn.
- On a highway divided by a raised barrier or an unpaved median at least 5 feet wide, drivers moving in the opposite direction do not have to stop for the bus (painted lines or pavement markings are not considered barriers). However, these motorists should slow down and watch for students loading or unloading from the bus.
- Be alert and watch for children especially near schools, bus stops, school buses and in school parking lots.
- Pay extra attention to lower speed limits in school zones.
- Watch for and obey signals from school crossing guards.
- Only drive or park in authorized areas to drop off or pick up children at school.
Please see the below diagram outlining Florida law for stopping for a school bus. Each illegal pass-by could result in a tragic injury or fatality of a student. The inconvenience of an extra few seconds spent waiting for a stopped school bus is insignificant compared to the loss of a child’s life.
The Florida Department of Education also provides safety instructions for parents and students as well as yearly surveys on drivers illegally passing school buses.
Drivers who improperly pass a stopped school bus commit a moving violation subject to citation and will be required to complete a basic Driver Improvement Course upon conviction.
Safety at the Bus Stop:
- Arrive at the bus stop about five minutes before the bus is scheduled to arrive.
- Never sit on the roadway or the curb while waiting for your bus; wait in a safe place away from the road.
- Never speak to strangers at the bus stop or get into a car with a stranger. Always tell your parents, the bus driver and a teacher at school if a stranger tries to talk to you or pick you up.
- When the bus stops, wait for the driver’s signal that it is safe to cross the road or board the bus.
- If crossing the street, look left, right and left again. Make eye contact and make sure your bus driver can see you as you cross the street.
- Never walk behind the school bus and stay away from the bus wheels at all times.
Safety on the Bus:
- Know your bus driver’s name and bus number.
- Remain seated at all times and keep the aisle clear.
- Don’t put your head, hands or arms out the window.
- Stop talking and remain silent when the bus comes to a railroad crossing so the driver can hear if a train is approaching.
- Avoid any loud or disruptive behavior that could distract the bus driver from safely operating the bus.