To help prevent school-transportation accidents and to ensure a safe ride to school, here are some school bus safety tips provided by SAFE KIDS Coalition - for both children and drivers.
- Look both ways before crossing the street and do so at a crosswalk or corner
- Don’t enter the street from between parked cars or from behind bushes or shrubs
- Avoid horseplay
- Arrive at the stop at least five minutes before the bus is scheduled to arrive
- While on the bus, always remain seated and keep the aisles clear
- Do not throw objects
- Do not shout or distract the driver unnecessarily
- Always keep head and arms inside the bus
- Wait until the bus comes to a complete stop before exiting
- Be aware of the driver's blind spot (10 feet around the bus) when walking away from the bus
- Cross the street at least 10 feet in front of the bus
- Never pick up items that fell under the bus; instead, ask the bus driver for help
- Slowdown in or near school or residential areas, and be sure to come to a complete stop at all intersections
- Scan between parked cars and other objects for signs that children could dart into the road
- Always stop for school buses that are loading and unloading students; it's the law
- Drive with your headlights on – even during the day – so children and other drivers can see you
Parents who are considering using a private school bus service to transport their young ones should become familiar with the rules and regulations governing private school buses.
Be aware of unregistered private school bus operators
If you see a flyer or other advertisement for a bargain-priced private school bus service, be cautious before committing because they may not be licensed to operate. To confirm if a private school bus operator is licensed and registered with Miami-Dade County, contact the Passenger Transportation Regulatory Division.
Vehicle safety inspections
Don’t let your child hop into just any vehicle. Look for an inspection certificate attached to the windshield. The certificate states that the private school bus was determined to be safe at the time of the inspection and provides an expiration date.
Vehicles are inspected for compliance with specific vehicle standards contained in the County Code. These include, but are not limited to brakes, tires, headlights, turn signals, horn, brake lights, cleanliness, and other safety and cosmetic components, including first aid kits.