Bus & Walker Safety Rules

diagram showing danger zones around school bus
The Perkiomen Valley School District and its transportation provider, STA, are pleased to provide families with some important safety tips for those who ride buses or walk to school. These tips were compiled based on information provided by STA, the Pennsylvania Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.

Walker safety rules:

  • Explain to children the meaning of traffic signs and signals and show them how to use pedestrian walk and don't walk signs. Teach them to watch for cars making a turn.
  • Tell children never to dash out into the road without stopping and looking for traffic. Explain how hard it is for a vehicle to stop quickly and how difficult it is for a driver to see them in that instant, especially if there are other parked cars or bushes around.
  • Make it a rule not to play in the street. When walking on a street with no sidewalks, teach children to stay along the side of the road or on grass and to walk facing traffic.
  • Children should not play on or near driveways. Teach them to watch out for vehicles backing out of driveways and parking spots. Never back out of a driveway without checking around your vehicle for a small child.
  • Walk with your children and practice safe pedestrian skills. Explain that motor vehicles are bigger and faster than they are. Stress the importance of crossing at corners or crosswalks. Show them how to stop at the curb or edge of the road. Instruct them to look left, right, left for traffic and to continue looking as they cross. Remember to listen for traffic.
  • Tell children where they can and cannot play. These boundaries should expand as they get older. Always enforce these rules and be consistent. Children under 10 years old should never cross the street without an adult.
  • Teach children how to make eye contact with drivers before they cross in front of a vehicle. Show them that they cannot see a car coming if they try to cross too closely to parked cars. Dress them in brightly colored clothing when outdoors. Have them carry a flashlight at dusk or at night.
At the bus stop:
  • Be sure to arrive five minutes early, so you do not have to run to catch the bus.
  • Stay at least five giant steps away from the curb or roadway.
  • Shorten or remove drawstrings or straps on backpacks and clothing that could catch on doors or railings.
Boarding/riding the bus:
  • Wait until the bus comes to a complete stop before boarding and exiting.
  • Stay out of the danger zones when boarding the bus. A good rule of thumb is to make sure you can see the driver -- then you know the driver can also see you.
  • Stay in a single file when boarding the bus and do not push or crowd others in line.
  • When crossing the street to get to the bus, check for traffic first, since motorists may illegally pass a bus that is stopped. Look left, right, left. It is also safest to wait until the red lights of the bus come on before crossing, or for the driver to signal that it's OK to cross.
  • Parents should avoid holding conversations with the drivers so the drivers can concentrate on traffic conditions and student safety. If there is an issue or concern to address, please contact STA or the district.
  • Never run back to the bus, even if you have dropped something or forgotten something.
  • Know where emergency exits are located and review evacuation procedures.
  • While riding the bus, stay seated and facing forward. Keep legs and feet in front of you and never stick your arms or head out of the bus window. Be courteous to the driver and to other students.
Websites for additional information:
STA
American Academy of Pediatrics, Pennsylvania Chapter
PennDOT