Motorist Safety Tips
Watching for Children
Our children are precious, and their safety is very important. One of the most dangerous situations they face during their day is getting on and off their school bus. They do not always follow rules. We have to make sure we know and follow the rules, to keep them safe.
Learn the "flashing signal light system" that school bus drivers use to alert motorist of pending actions.
- Yellow Flashing Lights: indicate that the bus is preparing to stop to load and unload children. Motorists should slow down and prepare to stop their vehicle.
- Red Flashing Lights and Extended Stop Arms: Indicates that the bus has stopped, and that children are getting on or off. Motorist must stop their cards and wait until the red lights stop flashing, and the extended stop arm sign is withdrawn, before they can start driving again.
- Citations and Fines: If a motorist runs the red lights of a school bus and a City of Bridgeport Police Officier issues a citation for failure to stop and remain stopped for a school bus, (when red flashing lights are activated) the fine is minimum $1000.00 and no nore than $2000.00.
- This is considered a serious moving violation.
- You will not be able to take a defensive driving course nor could the ticket be deferred.
- This violation will go onto your driving record.
- Not only will this be on your record, but it can affect your insurance rates.
- It also adds points to your license.
- If you receive so many points in a certain time frame, the State can impose a surcharge fee.
When a School Bus Loads or Unloads Students On Roadways
- Individual Roads and Highways: On individual roads and highways (those without medians or barriers in the middle), the general rule is that if you are approaching a school bus that has stopped (red flashing lights on) in the road, STOP! NO matter which direction you are approaching from. It does not matter how many lanes the road has.
- A turning lane is not a median or barrier and you still must stop
- Divided Roads And Highways: The general rule from divided roads is slightly different. Remember, a turning lane does not make the road a divided road. A divided road is one that has a barrier or median.
- On a divided road or highway, only traffic going in the same direction as the bus are required to stop.
School Buses At Railroad Tracks
School buses stop for all railroad crossings!
- A school bus operator is required by law to stop at all railroad crossings, even if no trains are seen.
- The driver is required to look in both directions as well as to listen for a train before proceeding through the crossing.
- If you are behind a school bus and you are approaching a railroad crossing, be prepared to stop when the school bus stops.
Parent Safety Tips
As a parent, you are an important part of the bus safety awareness program for students who travel to and from school by bus. You can help us keep your child safe when riding the bus by going over the bus rules as well as the safety tips for students, parents and motorist.
Here's How You Can Help
- Click on bus safety rules: Go over these rules with your child.
- Help your children to leave the house on time. Students should be present at their bus stop at least (5) minutes prior to the designated pick -up time. The bus can not wait in the roadway and hold up traffic for students who are late.
- If possible go with your child to the bus stop.
- Tell your children to walk in groups, if possible.
- Remind children to walk on sidewalk or out of the street.
- Teach your children to stop, look left, right and then to the left again before crossing the street.
- Running games, shoving, or horseplay is too dangerous at the bus stop and around traffic.
- Tell your children to stand 10 feet (5 to 8 giant steps) away from the street when waiting for the bus.
- If anything is dropped during loading or unloading the bus, children need to tell the bus driver.
- Talk to your children about the "Danger Zone"
This is the area that is the most dangerous. In this area it is difficult for the bus driver to see the children.
Student Safety Tips
- Remember the Bus Rules and Safety Tips are for your safety and the safety of others*
- Be on time at the bus stop. Students should be present at their stop at least (5) minutes before bus pick -up time.
Waiting For the Bus
- Stand out of the way of traffic, stand at least 10 feet (5 giant steps) from the road while waiting for the bus.
- Students living on the opposite side of the road from their bus stop need to wait on their side of the road until the bus arrives. Watch for the red flashing lights and for the bus drivers' signal that it is safe to cross.
- Always cross the street in front of the bus. Never behind the bus.
- Students should not push or shove others while at the bus stop.
- Stand well away from the road as the bus approaches.
- Do not run towards or alongside the bus when the bus is moving. Wait until the bus stops; then walk to the door and board the bus in an orderly manner.
- Hold the handrail while going up and down the bus stairs.
Respect The Danger Zone
The "Danger Zone" is an area 10 feet from each side of the bus,10 feet from the front of the bus and 10 feet from the back of the bus.
Remember this area is dangerous because the driver may not be able to see you.
Riding In the Bus
- Be seated immediately, and remain seated while the bus is moving.
- Follow all school bus rules and remember to always follow the bus drivers instruction.
- Always be silent when a bus comes to a railroad crossing, so that the driver can hear if a train is coming.
Exiting the Bus
- If a student lives on the opposite side of the road from the bus stop: As the student exits the bus the student will need to step away from the side of bus, turn towards the front of bus and take 8 giant steps forward and then stop. Look at the bus driver and wait until the driver gives the signal that it is safe to cross the road.
- If you leave something on the bus, never return to the bus to get it. The driver may not see you come back and may begin moving the bus.
- If you drop something near the bus, tell the bus driver: never go after it yourself.
Never speak to strangers at the bus stop and never get into a car with a stranger. Always go straight home. Tell your parents, the bus driver and the principal if a stranger tries to talk to you or pick you up after you have left the bus.