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Tips for School Bus Safety

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It's that time again - school is starting in Houston. Many Houston schoolchildren ride the bus each day; there are more than 1,100 school buses making 900 stops daily. Although most of these journeys are uneventful, there have been recent stories about school bus accidents in the region that give parents nightmares.

Last April, two Houston Independent School District buses collided. More than a dozen children were injured. Early reports referred to a missing stop sign as one of the factors in the crash that also sent the driver to the hospital. In May, eight Furr High School students were transported to the hospital after an accident on Highway 59.

These are just two of last school year's crashes involving school buses. Accidents will happen again this year despite everyone's best efforts. In the mode of "Hope for the best, prepare for the worst," our law firm offers some tips for staying safe while riding the bus. Some of these tips come from Houston's Chanel 2.

The crashes described are just two of last school year's crashes involving school buses. Accidents will happen again this year despite everyone's best efforts. In the mode of "Hope for the best, prepare for the worst," our law firm offers some tips for staying safe while riding the bus. Some of these tips come from Houston's Chanel 2.

  • Tip #1: Pay attention. Watch the lights. Be sure to stand a few feet from the door so you are not struck when it opens - some sources recommend "ten giant steps."
  • Tip #2: Don't wear ear buds or headphones when waiting for the bus or walking to the bus stop. You won't be able to hear traffic - traffic that may include the bus.
  • Tip #3: Don't wear a hood while waiting for the bus or walking to the bus stop. It can make it more difficult to see and hear.
  • Tip #4: Be on time for the bus. If you have to run for the bus, you may not be paying attention to traffic.
  • Tip #5: Wear seatbelts on the bus.
  • Tip #6: Wait for the bus to stop completely before you move forward to get on or stand up to get off.
  • Tip #7: Hold the handrail when going up and down the steps so you don't trip.
  • Tip #8: Don't cross the street after getting off the bus until the driver tells you it is safe.
  • Tip #9: Keep your hands, feet, head and belongings inside the bus.
  • Tip #10: Don't pick up anything close to the bus after you get off. The driver cannot see you. Wait for the bus to leave or ask for the driver's help.
  • Tip #11: If parents meet children at the bus stop, they should wait on the side of the street where the bus stop so that children won't have to cross the street.
  • Tip #12: Be aware of hazards such as shoelaces, backpacks, key chains or anything else that could become caught.

Following these rules can help children stay safe while riding the school bus this year.

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