Safety Around School buses

From time to time, we come across articles by our partners (clients, carriers, vendors) that we feel are worth passing on. We thought this one was especially relevant and timely with school back in session.

Courtesy of The Hartford’s Risk Engineering Organization:

Most kids are back in school by now and you should be alert to their presence!!! The National Highway Safety Administration recently updated the Traffic Safety Facts on School-Transportation-Related Crashes. “From 2007 to 2016 there were 320,874 fatal motor vehicle traffic crashes. Of those crashes, 1,147 (0.4%) were classified as school-transportation-related.” 38% of these involved the school aged pedestrian being struck by a passenger car, light trucks and vans, large trucks, and motorcycles.

“School buses are the safest means of transportation for getting to and from school and keep an estimated 17.3 million cars off the roads every year. Even so; drivers need to be careful when traveling near school buses or school zones. Motorists need to be alert and to stop for a school bus when flashing lights are illuminated.”

Know when to stop!!! Consult your state(s) rules of the road for more information and exceptions (i.e. divided highways). Visit AAA “Digest of Motor Laws” for an overview of the school bus laws in the United States. 3 Most states require you stop and remain stopped when overtaking a school bus from either direction with red lights flashing on a non-controlled access highway.

It’s not just about obeying the law; it’s about keeping kids safe!

The National highway Traffic Safety Administration offers these suggestions to motorists to help keep kids safe around schools and school buses:

  • 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 may be thinking about getting 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 in the neighborhood.
  • 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 traffic.
  • Learn and obey the school bus laws in your State, as well as the “flashing signal light system” that school bus
    drivers use to alert motorists of pending actions:

    • Yellow flashing lights indicate 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 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-arm is withdrawn, and the bus begins moving before they can start driving again.

Many states have enacted laws that prohibit the use of a handheld cell phone and texting while driving in a School zone. Consider visiting the Institute for Highway Safety, Laws & Regulations, Cell Phone and Texting Laws for more information. Don’t just be “careful,” slow down, expect the unexpected, keep your eyes moving and be far sighted by looking at least a block ahead while in residential areas and in school zones. When in doubt, slow down!

For additional information please visit The Hartford’s Risk Engineering Organization at