School Bus Safety is Important to All

School Bus Safety is Important to All
Posted on 09/10/2015

By Carrie Sterrs, Coordinator of Public Relations & Special Programs

Worcester County Public Schools has begun another successful school year on Tuesday, and with the start of school, it is important to reiterate several important bus safety measures that must be followed by motorists, parents, students, and bus contractors to ensure the safe transportation of children to and from school and school activities.

Maryland’s Motor Vehicle Administration requires motorists to follow several laws regarding school buses.  When a bus’ red warning lights are activated, motorists must immediately come to a complete stop.  When the red lights are engaged and the bus’ stop-arm is employed, it means students are getting on or off the school bus.  Prior to the engagement of a bus’ red lights, the bus contractor will activate yellow flashing lights. When a school bus is flashing yellow lights, it means the bus is at least 100-feet in advance of stopping.  Motorist must prepare to stop when yellow lights are flashing.

Parents can help to prepare their children for bus transportation by reinforcing good safety practices.  The most important safety rule for students to learn is that they must listen to and follow the directions given by their bus driver.  Following the bus driver’s directions will enhance a student’s safety, in addition to enhancing the safety of all other student riders. The guiding principle for behavior on the school bus is that students should show respect for the rights and property of other students, the bus driver, and the school bus.

We are delighted that many parents have taken the time to take their children to the bus stop to allow them to familiarize themselves with the bus stop area and locate an appropriate area for their children to stand and wait for the bus. We also want to thank those parents who accompanied their children to and from the bus stop during this first week of school. We encourage parents of young children to continue to provide this supervision throughout the school year.  

When boarding the bus, students should always board the bus in a safe and orderly manner, following the bus driver’s instructions carefully.  The same is true when exiting the bus and/or crossing the roadway.  Students must always stay out of the danger zone, which is a 10-foot area around the entire bus.  Students should never be able to touch the bus.  If they can, then they are in the danger zone and should immediately step away from the bus.  In addition, students should never walk behind the bus.

Bus routes and other transportation safety information is available on the school system website, www.worcesterk12.com, in the Parents & Students section.

Whether you are a motorist, parent, student, or school bus contactor, Worcester County Public Schools and the Transportation Department would like to thank you for your continued cooperation.  With it, we are able to provide the safest possible student transportation system.  If you have any questions, you may contact me at 410-632-5092.