Bus Safety Guidelines

At the start of each school year, and periodically throughout the year, we ask that families take a few moments to review these safety tips, rules, and procedures outlined below with their children and drivers in your family. Some of these are state laws, including stopping when encountering a school bus with flashing red lights (whether you are on the road or in a school parking lot) and obeying school zone speed limits. These laws were established for the safety of everyone on the roads, especially our children! 

Also, students riding a late bus need a note from the staff member with whom they remained after school. -- This will not be here, it is a reminder for me to move it to the transportation page. 

Getting Ready for School

  • Before leaving the house for the day, put loose articles – homework, books, pens and pencils – in a backpack or bag. Secure any loose or hanging objects, like straps or drawstrings.

  • Encourage students to wear bright, contrasting colors so they will be more easily seen by drivers.

  • Younger children should be supervised walking to and at the bus stop.

Walking to the Bus Stop

  • Walk young children to the bus stop and encourage students to walk in groups. There is safety in numbers; groups are easier for drivers to see.

  • Students who rush are particularly vulnerable. Arrive at the bus stop at least five minutes before the bus is scheduled to arrive. Waiting inside your home or vehicle, then running to the bus, may post a hazard to a safe approach and loading of buses. 

  • Practice good pedestrian behavior: walk on the sidewalk, and if there is no sidewalk stay out of the street. If you must walk in the street, walk single file, against/facing traffic and stay as close to the edge of the road as possible.

  • Stop and look left, right and then left again if you must cross the street. Do the same thing at driveways and alleys. 

While waiting for the bus: 

  • Students should wait for the bus in a location that is a minimum of 15 feet back from the road, where the driver can see them as they approach. 

  • Do not roughhouse at the bus stop.

  • Do not play with items at the bus stop, playing with balls or other toys that could roll into the street is dangerous.

  • Do not play or hide in piles of leaves, snow, or debris.

  • If a student drops something outside the school bus, they should NEVER try to pick it up, instead tell the driver. 

  • Students should never walk behind the school bus at any time. 

Getting on the bus:

  • Wait until the bus has stopped completely in front of you and its door is open and the driver says it is okay before approaching it.

  • Do not approach the bus while it is still moving. 

  • Do not run to or onto the bus.

  • Look both ways before you start to approach the bus. 

  • Use handrails to avoid falling or tripping. 

  • If you must cross, follow proper crossing procedures. See below. 

Getting off the bus:

  • Let the bus come to a complete stop before standing up to exit the bus. Do not stand up while the bus is moving in preparation to exit. 

  • Students should pay attention to their bus driver’s specific instructions when exiting the vehicle. Do not have headphones in, students may not hear the bus driver, vehicle traffic, or other environmental factors if listening to headphones. 

  • Use handrails to avoid falling or tripping. 

  • Do not run off the bus. Walk slowly to the last step, look both ways and then depart the bus. 

  • If you must cross, follow proper crossing procedures. See below. 

Proper Crossing Procedures: Please follow and review these procedures with your students; if they must cross the road in front of the bus, knowledge of safe crossing procedures is vital.

  • Wait until the bus comes to a complete stop before you get out of your seat or approach the bus.

  • Crossers get off the bus first. When discharging passengers, the school bus driver will discharge the crossers first. Once they have safely crossed to the other side of the street, the bus driver will discharge non-crossers.

  • Look both ways at the bottom of the stairs before you exit the bus.

  • A student getting off or about to get on the bus should walk to the front corner of the bus to a place where they can see the bus driver and the bus driver can see them, at least five giant steps (15 feet) away. Waiting for the signal to cross.

  • When all is clear, the driver will signal to the student that it is OK to cross, but as a precaution, the student should always look both ways before crossing.

  • The horn warns of danger. If the driver blows the bus horn, the student should immediately return to the starting point.

  • Parents meeting the bus should wait on the side of the road where the child will be getting off and then follow the above procedures for crossing. Parents need to discourage their children from running across the road to greet them.

While on the bus, students are expected to:

  • Follow RCS Code of Conduct 

  • Wear a seatbelt for safety (recommended).

  • Be courteous (do not use foul or abusive language).

  • Not eat or drink on the bus.

  • Keep the bus clean.

  • Cooperate with the driver.

  • Refrain from smoking.

  • Refrain from damaging the school bus or equipment.

  • Stay in their seats at all times.

  • Keep head, hands and feet inside the bus and out of the aisle.

  • Not fight, push or shove.

  • Not tamper with bus equipment.

  • Not bring pets on the bus.

  • Not bring flammable material on the bus.

  • Sit in their assigned seat and wear a seatbelt if told to do so by the bus driver.

  • Carry on no glass containers.

  • Not yell or shout

Electronic devices

Students are discouraged from using their electronic devices including, but not limited to, video games, cell phones, iPods, Chromebooks, and tablets when on the school bus. These items are allowed by bus drivers as long as:

  • They are not causing a distraction for the driver

  • Pictures and videos should not be taken while on the bus 

  • Devices are used with headsets only when playing music/games/etc. 

  • These items are put away before getting on/off the bus

  • The music/games do not contain inappropriate language

  • The game is labeled “E for everyone.”

Students bring these items on the bus at their own risk as the school is not responsible for lost or broken electronic devices.

Drivers’ & Pedestrian Responsibilities

  • STOP – from either direction, even on divided highways – when encountering a stopped school bus with its red lights flashing. The bus is either picking up or discharging riders. Proceed only when the red lights are turned off and the bus is moving again, unless waved on by the bus driver or a police officer.

  • Flashing yellow lights warn that the bus is about to stop, so slow down and prepare to stop. Children may be coming from any direction.

  • Be aware that school buses may not turn right on red with students on board. 

  • Adhere to all school zone speed limits. 

  • Any vehicle that passes a school bus that has its flashing red lights activated will be reported to the police and/or New York State DMV.

  • Drive slowly on roadways that pass parks, schools, and playing fields, and be on the lookout for children on bikes and for pedestrians. Don’t assume they see you.

  • Make sure they see you before you proceed through intersections or pull out from driveways or parking lots.

  • Pedestrians, remember to use sidewalks and marked crosswalks when they are available. When sidewalks aren’t available, always walk on the left side of the road facing traffic and as far from the road as possible. When crossing a street, cross only at intersections and look left, right, and then left again before proceeding across.

  • When walking, always try to wear bright-colored or reflective clothing so you can be seen more easily by motorists.