Georgia Celebrates National School Bus Safety Week

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NHTSA-Parents Central

Over one million students ride Georgia school buses twice each day. This week, Georgia celebrates National School Bus Safety Week, an opportunity to remind drivers, parents, and students to protect children on the bus and at the bus stop.

According to WNEG News, this year’s theme is “Bully Free Zone,” a campaign which encourages students and parents to practice safety both on and off the bus.

Georgia officials are taking this week to remind drivers that “students are unpredictable.” As such, motorists are urged to “have an overall heightened safety awareness and expect the unexpected as children wait at bus stops and as they get on and off the school bus.”

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) provides facts and safety tips to improve school bus safety:


  • School buses are designed to be safer than passenger vehicles in avoiding crashes and preventing injury.
  • School buses are the safest mode of transportation for getting children back and forth to school.
  • School buses keep an estimated 17.3 million cars off roads surrounding schools each morning.

School Buses and Seat Belts

  • Proper Use of Child Safety Restraint Systems in School Buses – Designed to assist in correctly securing pre-school age children in child safety restraint systems and properly securing the system to a school bus seat.
  • The re-use of child restraint systems in school buses after crashes   – NHTSA recommends that child restraint systems be replaced following a crash in order to ensure a continued high level of crash protection for child passengers.
  • School Bus Seat Belts and Carryover Effects in Elementary School Children   – Explores the proposition that the lack of seat belts on school buses increases the likelihood that elementary school children will not use seat belts in personal vehicles.
  • Seat Belts on School Buses   – NHTSA’s answers to often-asked questions about seat belts on large (over 10,000 lb GVWR) school buses.
Riding the Bus
Riding a school bus is a great way for your child to get to school. In the United States, 23 million students take the bus to and from school each day. Unfortunately, you may already know that the greatest risk involved is not riding the school bus, but getting on and off the bus. An average of 24 school-age children die in school transportation-related crashes each year (11 occupants and 13 pedestrians). Talk to your child about school bus safety and ways to stay safe around buses.
Safety starts at the bus stop.

Your child should arrive at the bus stop at least five minutes before the bus is scheduled to arrive. Visit the bus stop with your child so you can show your child where to wait for the bus: at least three giant steps (six feet) away from the curb. Remind your child that the bus stop is not a place to run or play.

Get on and off safely.
When the school bus arrives, your child should wait until the bus comes to a complete stop, the door opens, and the driver says that it’s okay before approaching the bus door. Your child should use the handrails to avoid falling.
Use caution around the bus.

Your child should never walk behind the school bus. If your child must cross the street in front of the bus, tell your child to walk on a sidewalk or along the side of the street, to a place at least five giant steps (10 feet) in front of the bus before crossing. Your child should make eye contact with the bus driver before crossing, to make sure the driver can see your child. If your child ever drops something, like a ball or book, near the school bus, the safest thing is for your child to tell the bus driver right away. Your child should not try to pick the item up because the driver might not be able to see your child.

(Learn more at the NHTSA Parents Central)
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