Back to School: Travel to and from school

Last Updated: Wednesday, July 19, 2017, 11:33 AM EDT

It's estimated that 24 million students nationwide start their school day with a trip on the school bus. Whether they walk, ride the bus or travel by car, teach your kids these few tips to ensure they get to and from school safely.

Tips for School Bus Riders
  • Do not play in the street while waiting for the bus
  • Carry all loose belongings in a bag or backpack and never reach under the school bus to get anything that has rolled or fallen beneath it.
  • Line up facing the bus, not alongside it.
  • Move immediately onto the sidewalk and out of traffic after getting off the bus.
  • Wait for a signal from the bus driver before crossing the street and walk at least 10 steps away from the front of the bus so the driver can see you.
Tips for Pedestrians or Bike Riders
  • Never walk alone — always travel with a buddy. Try and find a friend, or make a new friend in the neighborhood to walk to school or ride the bus with.
  • Wear reflective or bright color clothing to increase visibility.
  • Respect traffic lights and street signs.
  • Always wear a helmet when riding a bicycle.
  • Avoid loose fitting clothing that could get caught in spokes or pedals.
Tips for Car Drivers and Passengers
  • Make sure young children are in safety seats at all times, and that the seats have been properly installed.
  • All children under 13 years should ride in the rear seat of vehicles.
  • Remember that many crashes occur while novice teen drivers are going to and from school. You may want to limit the number of teen passengers to prevent driver distraction. Do not allow your teen to drive while eating, drinking, or talking on a cell phone.
  • Learn and obey the school bus laws in your state. Learn the "flashing signal light system" that school bus drivers use to alert motorists of pending actions:
    -- Yellow flashing lights indicate that the bus is preparing to stop to load or unload children. Motorists should slow down and prepare to stop their vehicles.
    -- Red flashing lights and extended stop arms indicate that the bus has stopped, and that children are getting on or off. Motorists must stop their cars and wait until the red lights stop flashing, the extended stop sign is withdrawn, and the bus begins moving before they can start driving again.