Safety of Transportation is Central States business

Transportation Safety

According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), students are at much greater risk traveling to and from school than at any other time in their school day. Since 1921, the National Safety Council has been an accurate source of statistics on unintentional injuries, their costs, trends, and other characteristics.

Children’s safety is our business. That’s why Central States Bus Sales, Inc., provides these helpful facts, statistics, and safety recommendations.


School Bus Front Lights and Stop Arm


  • Every day twenty-three million students nationwide, approximately 54% of all Kindergarten through 12th grade students in the United States, ride school buses to and/or from school.
  • The yellow school bus is considered to be 172 times safer than transportation in a passenger vehicle, 8 times safer than railroad passenger trains or scheduled airlines, and 4 times safer than transit or intercity buses.
  • The school bus transportation infrastructure is the largest system of ground transportation in the United States, with over 400,000 yellow school buses on the streets every school day.
  • School-age children transported in school buses are safer than children transported in motor vehicles of any other type. Large school buses provide protection because of their size and weight. Further, they must meet minimum Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS) mandating compartmentalized seating, improved emergency exits, stronger roof structures and fuel system integrity, and bus body joint strength.
  • Almost 40% of all the fatalities in and around the loading and unloading of school buses are directly related to other drivers’ ignorance or disobedience of school bus laws (National Safety Council).
  • The greatest risk is not riding the bus, but approaching or leaving the bus. Before children go back to school or start school for the first time, it is essential that adults and children know and understand school bus safety rules.
  • Every school bus manufactured after April 1, 1977, is equipped with a metal cage designed to protect the fuel tank in a direct 30-mph collision by a two-ton vehicle (US Department of Transportation).
  • Student transportation cost amounts to approximately 4% of the total annual cost of educating a child.
  • There are more than 100 federal, state, provincial, and local government agencies and industry associations involved with school transportation in the United States and Canada, making it one of the most regulated, safest forms of ground transportation.
  • Arrive at the bus stop at least five minutes before the bus is scheduled to arrive. When the bus approaches, stand at least three giant steps (6 feet) away from the curb and 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.
  • Do not push or shove when getting on or off the bus.
  • Go directly to your seat and remain seated until the bus comes to a complete stop at the unloading destination.
  • Keep feet out of the aisle; and keep head, hands, and arms inside the bus at all times.
  • Be a courteous passenger. Avoid yelling, screaming, or obscene language; and obey the rules established by the school district and/or driver.
  • If it is necessary 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 crossing.
    • wait to cross until you have made eye contact with the driver and have been signaled to cross.
    • check to make sure other traffic has stopped and it is safe to cross.
  • Be sure that the bus driver can see you and you can see the bus driver.
  • Use the handrails to avoid falling.When exiting the bus, be careful that clothing and book bags with straps or draw strings don’t get caught in the handrails or doors.
  • Never walk behind the bus.
  • Walk at least three giant steps (6 feet) 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.
  • Know the bus rules, and teach your children to follow the common-sense practices listed above to make their school bus transportation safer.
  • Make sure your children are on time to catch the bus.
  • Accompany small children to and from the bus.
  • Observe safe driving techniques when your vehicle is near a school bus.

When pre-school-aged children are transported in school buses, NHTSA recommends these guidelines be followed:

  • Each child should be transported in a Child Safety Restraint System suitable for the child’s weight and age (such as the one shown here) that meets applicable Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS).
  • The Child Safety Restraint System should be properly secured to the school bus seat, using anchorages that meet FMVSS.
  • Learn and obey the school bus laws in your state. Learn the “flashing signal light system” that school bus drivers use to alert motorists of pending actions:
    • Yellow Flashing Lights indicate that 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 that the bus has stopped and that children are getting on or off. Motorists must stop their vehicles and wait until the red lights stop flashing, the extended stop sign is withdrawn, and the bus begins moving before they can start driving again.
  • Slow down. Watch for children walking in the street, especially if there are no sidewalks in the neighborhood, or playing and congregating near bus stops.
  • Be alert. Children arriving late for the bus may dart into the street without checking traffic.
  • When backing out of a driveway or leaving a garage, watch out for children walking or bicycling to or from school.
  • When driving in neighborhoods with school zones, watch out for young people who may be thinking about getting to school but may not be thinking about getting there safely.

Blue Bird Corporation created this great School Bus Safety Activity and Coloring book. You are welcome to download this large file & save it to print yourself.

Blue Bird School Bus Safety Activity and Coloring book


This large file will take a minute or more to download. If you cannot open this coloring book
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