School Safety

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School busOlathe District Schools publishes Traffic Flow Patterns for morning drop-off and afternoon pick up at many schools.

Transportation Safety Risks
Consider the following risks to help ensure your child gets to school safely.

  • How will your child get to school?
  • Will he take the bus, walk, ride his bike, drive himself, or will you or a friend drive him? 
  • 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?

Driving Safety
Slow Down.
Be alert. Children arriving late for the bus may dart into the street without looking for traffic.
Watch for children:

  • when you are backing out of a driveway
  • when you are leaving a garage
  • when you are driving in school zones

Watch for children:

  • who are walking in the street, especially if there are no sidewalks in neighborhood
  • playing and congregating near bus stops

Learn and obey school bus laws in Kansas.  Review the Kansas Driving Handbook page 42 (http://www.ksrevenue.org/pdf/dlhb.pdf).

Know that school bus drivers use the "flashing signal light system" 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 Motorists must stop their cars and wait until the red lights stop flashing, the extended stop sign is withdrawn and the bus begins moving.

Walking Safety
School Walking Route Maps
Safe Walking 101 Video

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 to identify where safety patrols are located.

Walk with children under age 10 every day. They do not have the necessary skills to judge the speed or distance of oncoming traffic and their peripheral vision is 1/3 less than that of adults.

Teach children to obey all traffic signals and markings.

Teach children the meaning of all traffic markers. For example, a flashing "walk" sign is not an automatic "go" signal.

Ensure children look to the left, to the right, and to the left again for moving vehicles before crossing the street.

Teach children not to enter the street from between parked cars or from behind bushes or shrubs.  Fifty to seventy percent of pedestrian injuries among children ages nine and under result from darting into the street.

Warn children to be extra alert in bad weather because drivers have a more difficult time seeing pedestrians.

Be a good role model. Children imitate their parents and model their behavior. Your children need to hear you tell them and show them how to be safe pedestrians.

Waiting for the Bus
Stay out of the street.

The Bus Driver’s Blind Spot
Many injuries occur when children are boarding or exiting the bus because a blind spot obstructs the view of the bus driver.

The bus driver’s blind spot extends approximately 10 feet in front of the bus.

Children may mistakenly believe that if they can see the bus, the bus driver can see them.

Getting On and Off the Bus
Get to the bus stop at least five minutes before the bus is scheduled to arrive.

Stand at least three giant steps (6 feet) away from the curb.

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 handrails on the bus to avoid falls.

Take care 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.

After getting off the bus children should, if walking in front of the bus, cross at least 10 feet in front of it.

Rules On the Bus
Remain seated at all times and keep the 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.

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