School bus danger zone
School bus danger zone. Click image to enlarge

Toronto, Ontario – Student Transportation of Canada (STC), an operating subsidiary of Student Transportation of America (STA), today announced that the companies’ more than 6,000 employees are trained and ready to go back-to-school with students in the Greater Toronto area and more than 200 other school districts across North America.

According to the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, riding a school bus is the safest way for children to get to and from school. It’s safer than walking or riding a bike and is even eight times safer than riding in the family car.

As the new school year begins, STC offers the following school bus safety tips to students and parents:

Students:

· When the bus is arriving, stay away from the danger zone (the area 10 feet all the way around the bus) and wait for the bus to fully stop and the driver’s signal to board. Board the bus one at a time.

· When getting off the bus, look before stepping off the bus to be sure no cars are passing on the shoulder (side of the road). Move away from the bus.

· Before crossing the street, take five “giant steps” out from the front of the bus, or until the driver’s face can be seen. Wait for the driver to signal that it’s safe to cross.

· Look left-right-left when coming to the edge of the bus to make sure traffic is stopped. Keep watching traffic when crossing.

Parents:

· Supervise children to make sure they get to the stop on time. Wait far away from the road and avoid rough play.

· Teach your child to ask the driver for help if he/she drops something near the bus and to never bend down next to the bus or go under the bus to pick up something. Have your child use a backpack or book bag to keep loose items together and secure.

· Make sure clothing and backpacks have no loose drawstrings or long straps that may get caught in the handrail or bus door.

· If you think a bus stop is in a dangerous place, talk with your school office or transportation director about changing the location.

School Bus stop laws:

· Vehicles must stop when the bus displays flashing red warning lights and extends the stop signal arm. Vehicles may not pass until the flashing red lights and signals are turned off.

· Vehicles travelling in the same direction as the bus are always required to stop. In some areas, vehicles moving in the opposite direction on a divided roadway are also required to stop.

· Never pass on the right side of the bus, where children enter or exit. This is illegal and can have tragic results.

· Violation of these laws can result in a citation and fine. In many places, school bus drivers can report passing vehicles.

“We encourage parents to review school bus safety rules with their children on our web site www.rideSTA.com before and during the first weeks of school this fall,” said Chris Harwood, senior vice president of Canadian operations. “Our drivers have become familiar faces to local children and they look forward to welcoming them back for another safe and productive school year.”

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