Author: P. Christopher Guedri, Richmond, VA Personal Injury Attorney
With the school year in full swing once again, approximately one million Virginia students will be riding school buses to and from school, field-trips, and other school related activities. Many of these students (and their parents) will be lining up at their assigned bus stops. Because a good number of these bus stops are on busy streets, parents need to make sure that their children queue up and wait for the bus safely.
Getting Ready in the Morning
Parents should be thinking about bus stop safety even before their children leave the house. Though some parents might accompany their kids to the bus stop, many kids walk to the bus stop alone. As fall turns into winter and daylight hours get shorter, these morning walks get darker and darker. As such, children need to be as visible as possible while they walk to the bus stop. This can be achieved by wearing bright clothing – white, yellow, or orange is best – or by wearing clothing with some sort of reflective material. Wearing bright, reflective clothing helps to ensure that the child is visible to drivers, which can help prevent an unfortunate accident on the way to the bus stop.
Getting to the Bus Stop
For children who walk to the bus stop alone, there are a number of things that can be done to make the walk safer. Parents should plan for their kids to get to the bus stop at least five minutes prior to the bus’ scheduled arrival time. If a child is rushing to get to the bus stop on time, he or she may not be paying attention to dangers on the road. While on their way to the bus stop, children should always walk on the sidewalk. If there are no sidewalks on a child’s route to the bus stop, he or she should always walk facing traffic. Finally, children should be taught not to talk to strangers on their way to the bus stop, and to never, under any circumstances, get in a stranger’s car.
Getting on the Bus
When a child arrives at the bus stop, he or she should wait for the bus to arrive in a safe place away from the road, and should avoid running and playing while waiting. Children should be aware that any spot within ten feet of the bus is a danger zone. They should also keep the bus driver in their sight and understand that if they cannot see the bus driver, there is a good chance that the bus driver cannot see them. If a child has to cross the street to get to the bus, he or she should look right for traffic approaching from the opposite direction and then left to make sure the bus does not move forward while he or she is crossing in front of it.
Discussing the above safety tips with children can help make sure that their trip to and from the bus stop is safe and uneventful.
About The Author: Chris Guedri was named "Lawyer of the Year 2015" by Best Lawyers in America for Personal Injury-Plaintiff's in Richmond, VA. He has more than 30 years of experience and is a trial attorney and partner with the law firm of Allen, Allen, Allen & Allen.
 School Bus Stop Safety, Allen, Allen, Allen & Allen Blog, www.allenandallen.com/school-bus-stop-safety-tips.html