November 9, 2018

The IPS Transportation Department understands its responsibility in keeping students safe while going to and from school each day. But the department also understands that not everyone knows or follows bus safety rules.

In light of recent news stories of accidents involving students waiting at bus stops or those already on the bus, the district’s transportation team offers tips for students and motorists.

“It is our responsibility to make everyone aware of how to keep our students safe,” said Detra Taylor, operations manager, IPS Transportation Department. “We want to be proactive when it comes to safety concerns that come up that could affect our community.”

Taylor said the department is hoping that by communicating with students, parents and the community that they become aware and alert to the dangers around school zones, bus stops and throughout the community.

“We are also hoping that we are preventing a tragedy that can impact everyone involved,” said Taylor.

Bus Stop Safety Tips for Students

Information Students Must Know

  • Get to the bus stop at least 10 minutes before the bus is scheduled to arrive to avoid rushing and making poor decisions.
  • When the bus approaches, stand at least three giant steps (6 feet) away from the curb, and line up away from the street.
  • Wait until the bus stops, the door opens and the driver says that it’s safe before stepping onto the bus.
  • If you have to cross the street in front of the bus, walk on the sidewalk or along the side of the road to a point at least five giant steps (10 feet) ahead of the bus before you cross. Be sure the bus driver can see you and you can see the bus driver.
  • Use the bus handrails to avoid falls. When exiting the bus, be careful that clothing with drawstrings and book bags with straps don’t get caught in the handrails or doors.
  • Never walk behind the bus.
  • Walk at least three giant steps (6 feet) away from the side of the bus.
  • If you drop something near the bus, tell the bus driver. Never try to pick it up because the driver may not be able to see you.
  • If the bus driver honks his/her horn, it means you must return to the curb and not cross. (The driver has seen a dangerous situation and it is not safe to cross the street.)

Bus Stop Safety Tips for Motorists

Information Drivers Must Know

  • When backing out of a driveway or leaving a garage, watch out for children walking or bicycling to school.
  • When driving in neighborhoods with school zones, watch out for young people who are trying to get to school but may not be thinking of getting there safely.
  • Slow down! Watch for children walking in the street, especially if there are no sidewalks. Watch for children playing and congregating near bus stops.
  • Be alert! Children arriving late for the bus may dart into the street without looking for cars.
  • 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 lightsindicate the bus is preparing to stop to load or unload children. Motorists should slow down and prepare to stop their vehicles.
  • Red flashing lightsand extended stop arms indicate the bus has stopped and 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.