School Bus Safety

Welcome!

Always remind your kids of these important safety issues!

Danger Zone (front): It’s never safe to walk close to the front of the bus. The bus driver may be sitting up too high to see you. Walk 5 giant steps ahead of the bus before crossing in front of it.

Danger Zone (sides): Remember never walk close to the side of a school bus. Stay at least 3 giant steps away from the side. You may be in the bus driver’s blind spot—if you are where he/she can’t see you.

Danger Zone (behind bus): Never walk behind a school bus. The driver will NOT be able to see you.

Walking Area: When getting off the bus make sure you walk (not run) three more steps away from the door. This is the best place to be around a bus. Stay away from the bus wheels and watch out for moving cars.

For Students:
• Be EARLY! (At least five minutes ahead of time).
• Wait for the bus in an orderly manner.
• Wait for the driver's signal before crossing the street.
• Cross at least 10 feet in front of the bus.
• NEVER walk behind or crawl under a school bus.
• NEVER go back to the bus for anything you may have dropped or left behind.
• Never run to or from the bus.
• Remove or secure drawstrings, straps etc., or any piece of clothing or accessory (book bag, etc.) that could get caught in the bus door or hand rails.
• Always obey the driver.
• Stay in your seat.
• Keep your hands, arms, and head inside the bus.

When parents put their child on the school bus it often invokes mixed feelings. As parents, you can relax and be assured that you are putting your child in the hands of trained professionals who care about your child. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) says, "School buses are the safest form of ground transportation."
Nationwide, each year, there are approximately 450,000 school buses transporting nearly 24 million children, more than 4 billion miles. Tragically on an average there are 10 fatalities per year to students on school buses in the United States. In Georgia, school buses must meet a certain set of specifications. Each driver must meet and maintain driver qualifications, including ongoing training.

Parents often ask, "Why aren't there seatbelts on school buses?" By design, not as a financial decision, there are no belt systems on school buses. It should be noted that the only type of belt system that could be installed in a school bus is a lap belt, not the lap/shoulder belt systems that are available in passenger motor vehicles. There are serious questions about the ability of a lap belt to provide crash protection to children in any type of motor vehicle, including school buses.

In school buses children are protected by the safety compartment they ride in, this is called "compartmentalization". One of the major benefits of compartmentalization is that it is a passive form of crash protection. Neither the driver nor the student has to assure that the lap belt is placed properly across the student's lower torso. The design also fits a wide variety of weights, heights, ages, and seating positions.

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In a collision, the seat in front of the passenger is designed to deflect forward, absorbing the energy developed in the crash. The seat design allows the knees to impact first, followed by the chest. Lap belts would keep the pelvis secure and allow the head to impact the seat in front of the passenger. Data from laboratory crash tests conducted in the United States and Canada indicate that the trauma and force on the head would likely result in greater, not lower, injury levels. While school buses continue to be the safest vehicle on the Nation's highways, the federal government is studying ways to make school buses even safer. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has a research program underway that is looking at ways to make school bus passengers even safer in a crash. When that research is completed later this year, there may be changes proposed for future school buses. In the meantime, current school bus safety requirements provide your child with the safest form of transportation possible, including your personal vehicle.

By the safety record, you will have to agree, that these features have been effective in protecting our precious cargo, your child.

What can you do to improve school bus safety?

• Help your child learn to wait safely at the bus stop.
• Review the rules for riding the school bus safely with your child.
• Remove items from backpacks and coats (like drawstrings) that can snag on the school bus.
• Require that your child ride to and from school and activities in the safest form of transportation, the school bus.

If you have questions or want further information, feel free to call Tommy Todd at the transportation department (706) 283-6650.


The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's web site is:
http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/

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