According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), school buses are designed to be safer than cars in avoiding crashes and preventing injury, and they are the safest form of transportation for kids coming to and from school. In fact, school buses are required to meet all Federal motor vehicle safety standards (FMVSSs) applicable to them, as stated in the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act (Safety Act). The greatest risk for students is not riding the bus but rather approaching or leaving it.
National School Bus Safety Week (Oct. 19 – 23) is held during the third week in October every year. The program was designed by the National Association for Pupil Transportation (NAPT) to promote school bus safety in school districts across the country.
Thousands of school districts in more than 40 states participate in the National SBSW Poster Contest, which depicts school bus safety-related themes. The winning poster is used as the main theme for National School Bus Safety Week in the upcoming year. This year’s theme (last year’s poster winner) is “Be Smart—Be Seen, I wait in a safe place!”
2014 winning poster by Naomi Tu, 8th Grade, Jackson Middle School, Anoka, MN
Next year’s theme is “# STOP ON RED!” Students may submit their posters to the contest any time between now and September 2016. See 2016 poster rules.
Tips for School Bus Safety
- Pay close attention to school buses when you see them driving on the street before and after school.
- Have your kids arrive at the bus stop at least 5 minutes before the school bus is scheduled to arrive.
- When the bus arrives, make sure kids stand away from the curb (at least 3 giant steps).
- Teach kids how to be safe when boarding and exiting the bus: a) wait until the bus stops, b) wait for the door to open, and c) wait for the driver to say it’s okay to board or disembark.
- Be careful when exiting. Remind kids to use the handrails and make sure clothing, backpack straps, etc., don’t snag or get caught on the rails or doors.
- When crossing the street in front of a school bus, always make sure that the bus driver makes eye contact. NEVER walk behind the bus!
- If a kid drops something near the bus, have them alert the bus driver. NEVER let kids retrieve items themselves because the driver may not be able to see them.
Help us spread the word about National School Bus Safety Week #SBSW by sharing the poster on your social media platforms! :)