School Safety

The City of Olathe has established a citywide school pedestrian safety program.  For more information visit School Safety Program

In addition to the school safety program, the safety tips listed below are helpful reminders for everyone when school is in session:

Drivers

  • 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 neighborhood.
  • Slow down. Watch for children playing and congregating near bus stops.
  • Be alert. Children arriving late for the bus may dart into the street with out looking for traffic.
  • 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 lights indicate that 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 that the bus has stopped, and that 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 Motorists must stop their cars and wait until the red lights stop flashing, the extended stop sign is withdrawn, and the bus begins moving before they can start driving again.

School Transportation Safety
How will your child get to school? Will he take the bus, walk, ride his bike, or drive, or will you or a friend drive him? Each of these modes of transportation has their own safety risks that should be reviewed.

Is your child's route to school safe? Does he have to cross any major roadways? Is he always supervised or with a friend? Does he know what to do if a stranger approaches him on the way to school?

Taking the time to make sure your child has a safe route to school, knows how to cross the street and has a safe place to go if a stranger approaches him, will help to make sure that he gets to school safely.

Walking to School
Choose the safest route and walk it with your children. Look for the most direct route with the fewest street crossings. Try to choose routes where school safety patrols will be present. (Check with your school if you're not sure.) Children under age 10 should walk with an adult or older child every day because they do not have the necessary skills to judge the speed or distance of oncoming traffic. Also, their peripheral vision is 1/3 less than that of adults.

  • Teach children to obey all traffic signals and markings. Children should be taught the meaning of all traffic markers (for example, a flashing "walk" sign is not an automatic "go" signal.)
  • Make sure children look to the left, to the right and to the left again for moving vehicles before crossing the street.
  • Children should not enter the street from between parked cars or from behind bushes or shrubs.
  • Darting into the street accounts for 50 to 70 percent of pedestrian injuries among children ages 9 and under.
  • Because drivers have a more difficult time seeing pedestrians, warn children to be extra alert in bad weather.

Be a good role model. Children imitate their parents and model their behavior. Your children need you to not only tell but also show them how to be safe pedestrians.

School Bus Safety
An estimated 23.5 million students ride school buses daily. Many injuries occur when children are boarding or exiting because a blind spot extends approximately 10 feet in front of the bus, obstructing the view of the driver. Children are not aware of this blind spot and may mistakenly believe that if they can see the bus, the bus driver can see them

  • Get to the bus stop at least five minutes before the bus is scheduled to arrive.
  • 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 okay 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 that the bus driver can see you, and you can see the bus driver.
  • Use the 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 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.

A child's behavior at the bus stop is an important aspect of school bus safety. While waiting for the bus, children should stay out of the street. After getting off the bus children should, if walking in front of the bus, cross at least 10 feet in front of it.

While on the bus, children should observe the following safety rules:

  • Remain seated at all times and keep aisles clear.
  • Don't throw objects. Don't shout or distract the driver unnecessarily.
  • Keep your head and arms inside the bus at all times.