Approximately 300,000 school buses carry 22 million children on a bouncy ride to and from school each day. 60-70 children ages 5-9 die annually in needless bus accidents. STUDENT MISBEHAVIOUR CREATES THE GRAVEST DANGERS TO PASSENGER SAFETY. A bus driver must drive safely, keep an eye on the road, and maintain order while his/her back is turned on more students than a trained teacher faces in the classroom. He needs every passenger’s help. School bus safety depends on all kids working together and abiding by the same school bus safety rules.

Before the Bus Comes
  • Leave home early enough to arrive at your bus stop on time.
  • Be careful crossing roads and always walk facing the traffic.
  • Be safely waiting, read, and in good order when the bus arrives.
  • Wait in a safe place, well off the roadway.
  • Never be the cause for the delay of the bus and its other riders.
  • While waiting for the bus to come, your safe behaviour can set a good example for others to follow.
After the Bus Comes
  • Line up in single file and never crowd, push or shove.
  • Use the bus handrails as you enter the bus in an orderly manner.
  • Be courteous to your bus driver and fellow passengers.
  • Take your seat promptly and stay in it.
  • Avoid standing in the aisles.
  • Hold book bags so they can’t fall, or place them under your seat.
During the Bus Ride
  • Stay in your seat while the bus is moving.
  • Avoid shouting, scuffling and other needless disturbances which might distract the driver.
  • Keep arms and head inside the bus windows.
  • Be quite, orderly, courteous and considerate of others.
  • Help keep the bus clean and neat. Never mark, scuff, cut, kick or tear the seats or walls. Remember: Your bus is an expensive machine built to save you a long walk to and from school. With your help, the trip can be made safely in any weather.
When the Bus Arrives
  • Wait until the bus comes to a full stop before getting out of your seat to stand up.
  • Line up on the way out in an orderly fashion with no pushing and shoving.
  • Use the front door unless the driver says otherwise.
  • As you leave, report anything broken or damaged on the bus to the driver.
  • Use the handrail as you leave the bus in an orderly manner.
  • Be alert for traffic.
  • Watch your step. Never jump or take a giant step to the curb.
  • Leave the unloading zone quickly to make room for others getting off the bus.
Good School Bus Manners
  • No loud talking
  • No talking at all near a railroad crossing.
  • Keep feet under you and arms close to your body.
  • Put books and book bags where they cannot fall.
  • Avoid talking to the driver except when the bus is stopped or in an emergency.
  • Sit quietly in your seat until the trip ends.
  • NEVER stick anything out the bus window or throw things out of it. Never lean on windows and never open them without permission from the driver.
Crossing Safely

Crossing the road is always the most dangerous part of the bus trip. NEVER depend on the traffic to stop, because sometimes it doesn’t. NEVER ross in the driver’s blind spot, which is right in front of the bus. Instead, walk ten steps ahead of the bus along the edge of the road. Look back at the driver and make sure he/she sees you. Wait for his/her signal, then double check both ways yourself to make sure the way is safe. Walk quickly! Do not run! Never hold up the bus by stopping, turning back to look, or to check a mailbox for mail.

Bus Emergencies

The emergency door is for emergency use only, whenever the front door is blocked, or whenever two exits are needed. Your bus driver will explain how it is used and when. Perhaps your driver will have an exit drill so all riders know what to do in an emergency if it becomes necessary to leave the bus through this special door. It is safety-wise to have regular emergency door exit drills. Hopefully your bus will never have an accident, but just in case, play it safe.

  • Stay calm. It never helps to get excited.
  • Stay in your seat and do not talk.
  • Listen to your driver and follow his/her instructions quickly and quietly.
  • Never touch any emergency equipment or safety releases unless directed by your driver.
  • Let passengers near the exit go first. Duck your head. Keep your hands free and leave everything behind. Bend your knees if it is a big jump down.
  • Get away from the exit quickly so others can get out safely.
Field Trips

Sometimes class trips will be taken by school bus. If they are, follow the regular safety rules for bus riders. Set a good example for those who are not regular bus riders but who are on the bus with you for the special trip. Stay with your group. Make sure you know when and where the bus will leave and be there in plenty of time. Never ask the driver to let you off along the way. When you arrive at your destination and there are many buses there, make sure you know which one is yours!

This page contained information borrowed with thanks from the “Take the Safety Spirit on your School Bus” pamphlet by the U.S. National Child Safety Council.