Experts: Children need to look out for themselves at bus stops

When and how to pass school buses

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - It’s been happening nationwide, but last week that included in our backyard.

A car ran past a stopped school bus, despite police trying to enforce it. A lot of buses these days have cameras, but now experts say students need to know what to do to better protect themselves at bus stops.

A girl and her two twin brothers killed at the bus stop recently in Indiana. In Tampa, a speeding car hit five people, including three children waiting at a bus stop. Marie Crew, director of Safe Kids Alabama, says it’s something that happens way too often.

“In some instances, maybe they’re distracted for some reason, maybe they’re just unaware of what our laws are," says Crew.

Here’s a breakdown of when to stop.

The easiest thing to remember is if there’s a median separating you and the bus, you don’t need to stop. But if you’re traveling alongside the bus, or if there is no divided highway, then you must yield.

Crew says she’s worked with parents on how to educate their children.

“Don’t go more than 10 feet toward the bus when you’re waiting on the bus. When you’re getting on or off the bus, if you drop something, don’t stop to pick it up," says Crew.

Instead, tell the bus driver who will then tell you when it’s safe to go pick it up. It might sound elementary, but Crew also stresses looking both ways before crossing the street.

“Children under 10 should not even be crossing the street alone. They just don’t developmentally have the senses to do that.”

And in addition to mounted cameras, Crew says school systems can do other things to add safety measures.

“If it’s feasible, move the bus stop. Change that so you’re not in that direct line of traffic,” she said.

Crew says we need to take all the safety measures we can when it comes to our children.

“What’s more precious than your child or your neighbor’s child or your friend’s child?,” she said.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says school buses are still the safest way for a student to get to school. And they say the time they are least safe is while getting on and off a school bus. You can visit their website that deals with safety tips bu clicking here.

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