Fannin County School’s Transportation department took two school buses to Blue Ridge Elementary School to teach students about basic bus safety in case the time ever arrives that they might need it.
Children filed out of their classrooms, down the hallway out to the parking lot where laughter and chattering filled the air. Some were excited to have a break from class and others were excited to be on the “big bus”.
While exploring the school buses, students were also taught about the 11 rules of bus safety.
-Dress in bright clothing so the bus driver can see you. Avoid wearing anything that could catch on the bus when you’re entering or exiting the bus. (i.e. drawsrings)
-Be on time. Leave home early enough to avoid having to rush.
-Stay out of the road. Wait for your bus in a safe place, watch for traffic and stay away from strangers.
-Wait for the bus to come to a full stop. Board the bus safely and avoid pushing or shoving. Sit down as quickly as possible and remember that it isn’t safe to stand.
-Keep the aisle clear. Pack your things in a book bag or backpack. Keep your bag on your lap or under your seat. Be sure to keep your arms and legs out of the aisle as well.
-Leave the bus driver alone. Don’t speak to the bus driver unless it is an emergency. It is okay to talk quietly to the person sitting beside you.
-Stay in your seat. Stay seated until the bus comes to a full stop and be sure to exit promptly.
-Walk at least ten steps ahead of the bus along the edge of the road. Make sure you are at least ten feet from the bus and you can see the bus driver’s face. Never walk behind the bus or close to the wheel or sides.
-Wait until the bus driver signals you to cross the road. After receiving the signal that it’s safe, always double check for traffic both ways for yourself before crossing.
-Tell the bus driver if you drop anything. Never reach under or in front of the bus.
Aside from these rules, student’s also learned that there is a total of nine emergency exits on the bus. They were able to see what they were and where they are located on the bus. Obviously the front and back doors serve as emergency exits but students were also taught about the top hatches that allow them to escape in the event that the bus is on its side. They also saw how to open and told how to use the four emergency exit windows. “Always be sure to exit these going out feet first and on your stomach” they were told. The final emergency exit, which is often forgotten, that students learned about was the window beside the bus driver.
After their bus safety course, students at Blue Ridge Elementary were able to practice the proper way to exit the bus using the rear exit. They learned to use the phrase “sit and scoot”. The record time of exiting the bus for one class was 1 minute and 30 seconds.
After having the experience of exiting the bus, students returned to class to resume their academic education but they are well informed on how to handle an emergency situation if one ever arises while they’re on a school bus.