Riding the bus

Busing It

The school bus is a little different from a car because in addition to being a careful passenger, you need to think about how to get on and off the bus safely. Whether you ride the bus to school every day or just to field trips or band concerts once in a while, it's important to follow these rules.

When you see the bus driving up, everyone waiting should get into a line. The line should start about five giant steps (or around 10 feet, or 3 meters) from the curb and go back from the street, rather than down the side of the street.

Wait until the bus stops and the driver opens the door and says it's OK to step onto the bus. This is important! The driver is the only one who can really see all the traffic out on the road and make sure that it's safe for you to get on the bus. (If you must cross the street to board the bus, be sure to wait for the bus to come to a complete stop and for the driver to flash the red lights.)

Once aboard, be sure to listen to the driver's instructions, and even if you're in a hurry to grab a seat with your friends, don't rush and push.

Rules for Bus Safety

Play it cool when you're on the bus: No jumping, running around, or throwing things. This can make it hard for the driver to concentrate, and kids might get hurt.

So, a short bus ride later, you arrive at your band concert and you can't wait to blow that tuba! Not so fast — you have to pay attention as you're getting off the bus, too. When you step down, hold onto the handrail and be careful that your backpack or book bag doesn't get caught on the rail or in the door.

After you exit the bus, never walk behind it. If you have to walk in front of the bus, walk on the sidewalk next to the bus for at least 10 feet (3 meters), make sure that the driver sees you, then cross. If you drop something as you cross the street, don't ever bend down to pick it up — the bus driver might not see you. Instead, tell the driver you dropped something.

See how easy it is to be a safe passenger? Following these simple rules means you'll be more protected during a car or bus trip —  and get on the road!

Reviewed by: Elana Pearl Ben-Joseph, MD

Copied from the “KIDS HEALTH” webpage