Before school begins visit the bus stop with your child. Point out where to stand and wait for the bus, should be 3 giant steps or roughly 6 feet from the curb. Avoid rushing to the bus stop and encourage your child to be at least 5 minutes early for their bus. Wait until the bus comes to a complete stop, the doors open and the driver motions that it is okay to get on the bus. Never walk behind a bus and always make eye contact with the bus driver prior to crossing in front of a bus. Also remind your child if they drop anything in front of the bus, not to reach down to retrieve it, instead ask the bus driver to get it for them.
Double check the roadway or sidewalk area before backing out of your driveway. Drive slowly through neighborhoods, around schools or in school zones staying alert to children walking to school. Keep a look out for buses with flashing yellow lights indicating that they are coming to a stop. It is against Georgia state law to pass a school bus that has flashing red lights and an extended stop arm. Stop 10 feet away
Always walk on the sidewalk when available, if there isn’t a sidewalk, walk facing the traffic. Always cross the street at crosswalks or intersections and only cross when you’ve made eye contact with the driver of the vehicle closest to you. Stay alert, avoid being distracted when you are walking to or home from school.
Ask your child to use both straps when carrying their backpacks, this will help evenly distribute weight on your child’s shoulders. Try not to overstuff your child’s backpack, remember their backpack should weigh no more than 5-10% of your child’s body weight.
Practice the route to school with your child. Remember to ride with the flow of traffic in a single file on the shoulder of the road or sidewalk. Before crossing the street, stop your bicycle, make eye contact with drivers in the area and walk your bicycle across the road. You should also make sure your child’s helmet properly fits and they are wearing bright colored or reflective clothing.
Content provided by: National Safety Council , National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and Georgia Department of Public Health