Did you know that each day, 16,000 school buses transport about 824,000 Ontario students to school? The ironic yellow buses are one of the safest ways to get to school so it’s important for everyone to know how to stay safe while driving around them.
We are heading into the back-to-school season and safety is top of mind in our classrooms and on our roads! The back-to-school season is a good time to remind motorists about road safety when travelling alongside large vehicles, including school buses and transport trucks.
Here are a few tips about road safety around buses and in school zones:
- When the red lights are flashing on school buses, you must stop whether you are behind the bus or approaching it – it’s the law! When driving on a road without a median, drivers from both directions must stop. If you are following the bus, stop at least 20 metres away. If approaching from the front, stop at a safe distance to let children cross the road and don’t move your vehicle until the red lights stop flashing and the bus starts to move again.
- All buses will stop at railway crossings so be prepared to stop yourself. They may turn on their four-ways, but not their red lights so be cautious.
- Like a transport truck, school buses are much larger than the average vehicle so give them some space! They need more room for turning and maneuvering in tight spaces. They also need more room to stop so make sure you leave plenty of distance.
- Buses and transport trucks have blind spots. If you cannot see the mirrors, they can’t see you! Remember their blind spots are on either side of the vehicle, directly in front and directly behind. If you keep your distance and leave lots of space, you can avoid these blind spots.
- Slow down in school safety zones, you never know when children will be running to catch their bus or crossing the street without looking. Always be aware of your surroundings, be cautious and practice patience. You could save a life!
Remember these tips this September and all year long and together we can help keep our roads and our children safe. Wishing everyone a safe and happy back-to-school season!