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Bus Safety

Think Safety Initiative

BCIU Transportation staff work diligently every day to earn the department’s excellent safety record. Drivers and assistants devote themselves to safely transporting students. Mechanics keep the vehicles in safe working order. Dispatchers and office personnel coordinate communication efforts to ensure safe and efficient operations. And supervisors oversee safety training, policies, and procedures.

To recognize outstanding safety achievement in the past and to provide incentive for further safety performance in the future, the BCIU Transportation Safety Committee instituted the Think Safety campaign in April 2008. Drivers and assistants who attain safety goals receive official BCIU Think Safety windbreakers and other awards. In addition, the program promotes safety awareness and provides training on the safe operation of school vehicles and other safety procedures.

School Bus Safety

source: National Safety Council nsc.org

Getting to the School Bus

  • When waiting for the bus, stay away from traffic and avoid roughhousing or other behavior that can lead to carelessness.
  • Do not stray onto streets, alleys, or private property.
  • Line up away from the street or road as the school bus approaches
  • Wait until the school bus has stopped and the door opens before stepping onto the roadway.
  • Use the hand rail when stepping onto the bus.

Behavior on the School Bus

  • When on the bus, find a seat and sit down.
  • Loud talking or other noise can distract the bus driver and is not allowed.
  • Never put your head, arms, or hands out of the window.
  • Keep aisles clear - books and bags are tripping hazards and can block the way in an emergency.
  • Before you reach your stop, get ready to leave by getting your books and belongings together.
  • At your stop, wait for the bus to stop completely before getting up from your seat. Then, walk to the front door and exit, using the handrail.

Getting off the School Bus

  • If you have to cross the street in front of the bus, walk at least 10 feet ahead of the bus along the side of the road until you can turn around and see the driver.
  • Stay away from the bus' rear wheels at all times.

Correct Ways to Cross the Street

  • Children should always stop at the curb or the edge of the road and look left, then right, and then left again before crossing.
  • Children should continue looking in this manner until they are safely across.
  • If a student’s vision is blocked by a parked car or other obstacle, the student should move out to where drivers can see the student and the student can see other vehicles. Then stop, and look left, then right, and then left again.

Pennsylvania's School Bus Stopping Laws

  • When you meet or overtake a stopped school bus with red signal lights flashing and stop arm extended, you must stop.
  • When you approach an intersection where a stopped bus has red signal lights flashing and stop arm extended, you must stop.
  • You must stop at least 10 feet away from the school bus.
  • You must wait until the red lights have stopped flashing and the stop arm has been withdrawn before moving. Do not move until all the children have reached a place of safety.
  • You must stop on roadways with painted lines.
  • You must stop on roadways with single dividers.
  • Drivers on separate roadways do not have to stop on a highway with clearly defined dividing sections or physical barriers separating the roadways. This only applies when the school bus is on the opposite side of the road.

Car & Booster Seats

The following recommendations and guidelines are from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation

Birth to 2 Years

A child under the age of 2 should always ride in a rear-facing car seat. 

2-3 Years

Keep your child rear-facing as long as possible. It is the best way to keep him or her safe. Keep your child in a rear-facing car seat until he or she reaches the top height or weight limit allowed by the car seat’s manufacturer. Once your child outgrows the seat, he or she is ready to travel in a forward-facing car seat with a harness.

4-7 Years

Keep your child in a forward-facing car seat with a harness until he or she reaches the top height or weight limit allowed by your car seat manufacturer. Once your child outgrows the forward-facing seat with a harness, it is time to travel in a booster seat, but still in the back seat of the car.

8-12 Years

Keep your child in a booster seat until he or she is big enough to fit in a seat belt properly. For a seat belt to fit properly, the lap belt must lie snugly across the upper thighs, not the stomach, and the shoulder belt should lie snug across the shoulder and chest and not cross the neck or face. Remember: your child should still ride in the back seat because it is safer there.

Program Contact Info


John Coakley
Program Administrator


Julie Van Lear
Assistant Program Administrator


Matthew Comfort
Assistant Program Administrator

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