It's an early start this year, but it is here! Bellingham Public Schools are back in session. Before you walk your kids to the bus stop, you might want to brush up on these safety tips with them to make for a safer ride for everyone.
- Be aware. Don't assume vehicles will see you. 25% of car crashes happen due to some degree of distracted driving.
- Don't rush. Leave plenty of time to get to the bus stop.
- Head up, phone down! You wouldn't cross a street with your eyes closed, would you? Looking down at your phone leaves you just as vulnerable.
- Don't take away your hearing - listening to your music player or playing a video game on your phone is also distracted walking.
- Be extra cautious if you have your hood up. Wearing a hood makes it harder to see or hear traffic.
Now you've made it to the bus stop! But you're not in the clear yet:
- Stay a safe distance from the street, and don't play around while waiting for the bus.
- Stay ten giant steps from the curb while the driver is pulling up so you're visible.
- Don't board until the bus has completely stopped, or before you get out of your seat when your stop has come.
- Watch out for clothing or backpacks with stuff that could catch on handrails and doors.
- Hold the handrail. It's not going to look cool to trip and fall, and might hurt you beyond your pride.
- Find your seat and take it as soon as you're on the bus.
Whew! Now you're on the bus. Here's how to help the driver get you to class and home safely.
- Be courteous and respectful to your driver, and listen to directions.
- Don't stick your head, arms, papers, or anything else out the window.
- If you drop something near the bus, don't immediately pick it up. Wait until the driver sees your need and can help you.
- Wait to cross the street until the driver signals to you that it's safe to do so.
- The driver can't see you around the bus' wheels. Stay away from them and stay visible.
Good luck with the school year!