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School buses are the safest way for students to travel, but children also need to do their part to stay alert and aware of their surroundings to prevent injury. As the school year is now in full swing, here are some reminders that parents, students and drivers should review:

Getting on the Bus:
When waiting for the bus, stay away from traffic and avoid roughhousing or other behavior that can lead to carelessness
Do not stray onto the street, alleys or private property
Line up away from the street or road as the bus approaches
Wait until the bus has stopped and the door opens before approaching the bus
Use the handrail when boarding

Behavior on the Bus:
If seat belts are available on the bus, buckle up
Don’t speak loudly or make loud noises that could distract the driver
Stay in your seat
Don’t put your head, arms or hands out the window
Keep aisles clear of books and bags
Get your belongings together before reaching your stop
Wait for the bus to stop completely before getting up from your seat

Getting Off the Bus:
Use the handrail when exiting
If you have to cross in front of the bus, first walk at least 10 feet ahead until you can see the driver
Make sure the driver can see you
Wait for a signal from the driver before crossing
When the driver signals, look left, right, then left again. Walk across the road and keep an eye out for sudden traffic changes
If your vision is blocked, move to an area where you can see other drivers and they can see you
Do not cross the center line of the road until the driver signals it is safe
Stay away from the rear wheels of the bus at all times

More school-age pedestrians have been killed during the hour before and after school than any other time of day, according to NHTSA. And, although drivers are required by law to stop for a school bus when it’s loading or unloading passengers, they often don’t. Children should not rely on them to do so.

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