With a new school year right around the corner, many parents in Virginia will be putting the safety of their children into the hands of school bus drivers. That’s why school bus safety is so important, and it’s the duty of bus drivers as well as other motorists to keep kids as safe as possible when on the road. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration offers the following information on proper safety procedures.

The good news is kids are very safe on school buses thanks to heavy safety regulations. The design of school buses makes them highly visible to other drivers, which prevents collisions. The interior of the bus is also designed to prevent injury in the event of an accident. For instance, protective seats cushion kids, while the frame of the bus can withstand impacts and rollovers without sustaining serious damage. Despite these safety features, most school buses are without seat belts.

Safety at bus stops is also important in keeping kids safe. While buses are equipped with devices that alert other drivers to students getting on and off, parents should still assist kids in the proper procedures. For instance, kids should wait far away enough from the curb and only board the bus when it’s completely stopped and the driver gives the all-clear. When kids are getting off the bus, they should always walk around the front in an orderly fashion. 

School bus drivers must also play their part. Kids are unpredictable as pedestrians, so drivers must take proper precaution when traveling in areas with a lot of children. Driving at a slow speed is best, as the driver will be able to react should a child dart into the street suddenly. Bus drivers must also take care when backing up, as larger vehicles have numerous blind spots.