OKEECHOBEE, Florida — The Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Office has a message for parents to share with their kids about bus stop safety.
They say they have received calls about children that are waiting for their school bus in the dark and lying down near and in the road.
This is obviously very dangerous for not only the child, putting them at risk of being hit by a car, but also puts the drivers at risk of wrecking trying to avoid hitting them.
The Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Office has other tips for parents and students that can apply to students everywhere:
- Children should not be waiting at the roadside, but back several yards, until the bus approaches and the bus driver motions for the child to load onto the bus.
- Walk with your kids to the bus stop and wait with them until it arrives. Tell kids to stand at least three giant steps back from the curb as the bus approaches and board the bus one at a time.
- Teach kids to wait for the bus to come to a complete stop before getting off and never to walk behind the bus.
- If your child needs to cross the street after exiting the bus, he or she should take five giant steps in front of the bus, make eye contact with the bus driver and cross when the driver indicates it's safe. Teach kids to look left, right and left again before crossing the street.
- Instruct younger kids to use handrails when boarding or exiting the bus. Be careful of straps or drawstrings that could get caught in the door. If your children drop something, they should tell the bus driver and make sure the bus driver is able to see them before they pick it up.
- Drivers should always follow the speed limit and slow down in school zones and near bus stops. Remember to stay alert and look for kids who may be trying to get to or from the school bus.
- Slow down and stop if you're driving near a school bus that is flashing yellow or red lights. This means the bus is either preparing to stop (yellow) or already stopped (red), and children are getting on or off.