Bus Safety and Regulations
Parents and students should familiarize themselves with the bus rules. When students do not follow the rules, they jeopardize the safety of everyone on the bus. Students who do not follow bus rules and regulations or who refuse to follow the directions of the bus driver may lose riding privileges. Student rules of behavior and conduct that apply in the school building extend to the school bus.
To promote a safe, orderly, efficient and enjoyable bus ride to and from school, the following are suggested:
At the Bus Stop
- Be on time. Have students ready at their assigned stops at least ten minutes prior to and ten minutes after the student's scheduled pickup time. Buses will not be sent back for students who miss their bus!
- Board and leave the bus only at your regularly assigned stop, unless you have received special permission in advance.
- Stay out of the street and away from the road.
- Parental supervision of younger students is required (PK - 3rd grade).
- Wait to enter until the bus comes to a full stop and the door has been opened by the driver. Wait your turn and do not push when entering or leaving the bus.
- Once off the bus, clear the area immediately. If crossing the street, wait for a signal from the driver before crossing in front of the bus. Walk quickly across the street.
On the Bus
- Students shall be respectful of the bus driver.
- Bus drivers have the right to assign seats.
- Remain seated and facing forward while the bus is in motion.
- Keep the aisle of the bus clear of all items: feet, legs, backpacks, instruments, etc.
- Do not throw items.
- Talk in a reasonable tone of voice. Loud, boisterous, profane language or indecent conduct will not be tolerated.
- Students will not be allowed to tease, scuffle, trip, hold, hit or use their hands, feet or body in any objectionable manner.
- Windows are not to be lowered below the designated mark and only with the driver’s approval. Keep head, hands, feet and personal belongings inside the bus at all times.
- Smoking, lighters, matches, drug possession, fighting, weapons and/or damage to school property are not tolerated and prohibited.
- Treat bus seats and equipment with care and respect.
- Cell phones are allowed on the bus until they present a safety problem for the driver.
- Students will be released at their designated bus stop only, unless prior written and phone permission has been given by the Transportation Department to exit the bus at another location.
Understanding the Danger Zone
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the greatest risk to children isn’t riding the school buses; it’s approaching or leaving them. The “Danger Zone” is the area surrounding the bus where children are hard to see. We want your children to be safe when they travel to and from school. Please help us by:
- Do not allow your student to try to “catch the bus” by running or walking by a moving bus to try to get on. The driver cannot see students in the danger zone (see below), especially if it is dark.
- If your student misses the bus at their regular stop, please transport your student to school. Do not follow the bus to the next stop.
- If students must cross the street to the bus, they should cross the street 10 feet (five giant steps) in front of the bus where they can see the driver and the driver can see them.
- Warn students that if they drop something, they should never stop to pick it up. Instead, they should tell the driver and follow the driver's instructions. If they bend over to pick up a dropped object, they might not be seen by the driver and could be hurt if the driver pulls away from the stop.
- Remind students to look to the right before they step off the bus. Car drivers in a hurry sometimes try to sneak by the bus on the right-hand side.
- Teach your child to secure loose drawstrings and other objects that may get caught in the handrail or door of the bus as they are exiting.
- If you meet your child at the bus stop after school, wait on the side where the child will be dropped off, not across the street. Children can be so excited at seeing you after school that they may dash across the street and forget the safety rules.
Stopping For Busses While Driving
The Indiana State Police would like to remind motorists of the Indiana law concerning school buses, flashing lights and stop arms.
- When approaching a school bus from any direction which is stopped with its flashing red lights activated and its stop arm extended, motorists are required to STOP, even on multiple-lane highways, with the ONLY exception: Motorists who are on a highway that is divided by a barrier or unimproved median are required to stop only if they are traveling in the same direction as the school bus. If there is no unimproved median or barrier, then all lanes in all directions must stop.
- Remember, when approaching a school bus, be prepared to stop and watch for slowed or stopped traffic.
- Disregarding a school bus stop arm is a serious violation and one that school bus drivers are quick to report. Violation of this law is a Class “A” infraction and is punishable by a maximum fine of $10,000.
The Indiana State Police is committed to the safety of our children, motorists and highways, and will continue our enforcement and education efforts to ensure that safety.