The arrival of winter often signals a spike in the number of students taking the school bus, with more parents seeing public transport as a safer option compared to braving the snow in their own cars. The presence of snow at bus stops, however, raises a new set of safety rules to consider, applying not just to students, but to parents and drives as well.
Dress warmly! Now’s not the time to risk getting sick, or worse, having hypothermia. Taking public transport means moments where you might have to wait for a few minutes for the bus to arrive, so be sure to dress in layers, complete with boots, mittens, scarves, and boots. A good rule of thumb is to wear bright clothing, the better to increase your visibility in the snow and/or dark.
In addition, try to be on time at the bus stop to minimize waiting times and help everyone get to school as quickly as possible. Furthermore, you’ll want to walk facing the traffic and wait for the bus several feet away from the road to stay safe.
When boarding or exiting the bus, the steps might be wet from melting snow; be sure to use the handrail and mind your step—don’t keep your eyes only on your phone!
Parents and Drives
Parents and bus drivers should make sure students are acquainted with the bus safety rules unique to the winter season. And with everything you do, whether it’s driving or taking your child to the bus stop—take your time. Remember, safety is key here.
For drivers, it’s imperative that you ensure your bus is in good driving condition, ready to meet the demands of the cold. For parents, it’s a good idea to take the initiative and clear the snow away from bus loading and unloading zones close to your home.
And if you missed the bus after taking your child to the bus stop, don’t go to the next bus stop—go all the way to the school. The last thing you want to do on icy roads is play cat and mouse, which only increases the likelihood of an accident.