Joining forces for safety

LEWISTOWN – Mifflin County School District and the Lewistown Police Department are advocating for safety awareness this week during National School Bus Safety Week.

This year’s theme, “Stand back from the yellow and black,” highlights the importance of keeping children safe outside the school bus, especially when boarding or exiting the vehicle.

In leading this industry-wide safety education effort, the Mifflin County School District and the Lewistown Police Department remind both students and parents of important school bus safety tips.

Students riding a school bus should always:

Arrive at the bus stop five minutes early;

Stand at least five giant steps, or 10 feet, away from the edge of the road;

Wait until the bus stops, the door opens and the driver says it’s ok before stepping onto the bus;

Check both ways for cars before stepping off the bus.

Students crossing the street should always:

Walk in front of the bus, never behind;

Walk on the sidewalk or along the side of the road to a point at least 10 giant steps ahead of the bus;

Be sure the bus driver can see them, and they can see the bus driver;

Wait for the driver’s signal to cross the street.

Parents should know the following about school bus safety:

School buses are the safest form of highway transportation;

The most dangerous part of the school bus ride is getting on and off the bus;

The “danger zone” is the area where children are in the most danger of not being seen by the driver. This is within 10 feet of the front of the bus where the driver may be too high to see a child, within 10 feet on either side of the bus where a child may be in the driver’s blind spot and behind the bus.

National School Bus Safety Week is an active and evolving public education program designed to promote school bus safety. The event is held the third week of October each year and encourages parents, students, teachers, motorists, school bus operators, school administrators and other interested parties to join forces and address the importance of school bus safety.