This week is School Bus Safety Week and a great opportunity to remind everyone about bus safety practices and some of the related traffic laws in place to protect our students.
Safely on Board Program
Our students learn how to be responsible bus riders thanks in part to the Safely on Board program that takes place each fall. Elementary students across our division participate in age-appropriate classroom instruction and hands-on learning on, and around, a bus, exploring the ways of proper loading and unloading the bus, safe techniques to cross the road, emergency evacuation procedures and everything in between.
How can parents help with bus safety?
- Remind their children to be extra careful when getting on and off the bus.
- Teach their children to always obey the bus driver’s directions.
- Teach their children to watch for traffic from either direction before crossing the road.
- Teach their child about pedestrian safety rules.
Pedestrian safety rules
Teach your child how to
- Safely cross the road
- Not cross the road during a red light
- Make sure the bus driver sees them if they need to cross in front of the bus
- Walk on the sidewalk (or the left side of the road facing traffic)
- Point, Pause and Proceed before they cross the road
- Walk (don’t run) to the bus
- Not use a mobile device (phone, tablet etc.) until they are in a safe place
It is the responsibility of all motorists to know the laws and drive with extra caution when approaching a school bus from either direction.
- AMBER lights mean a school bus will soon be coming to a stop to load or unload children.
- RED lights mean the bus driver has opened the bus door, activated the alternating lights and the side stop arm extended which means only one thing — the bus is loading or unloading children and all drivers approaching from either direction must come to a complete stop.
Passing the bus when children are loading or unloading is dangerous, illegal and could be deadly.
Know the laws and report Fly-Bys!
There are several laws in place to help protect our students:
- It is illegal to pass a school bus when the red lights are flashing. This is called a “fly-by” and the fine is $567 and six demerit points.
If you witness a fly-by, please report it, either to police or call the Transportation office at 780.674.8510. The more information you have the better, including a description of the vehicle involved (year, make, model, and license plate if possible), bus number, time of day, location, etc.
- Often times a fly-by is the result of distracted driving. Read more about Distracted Driving, including the penalties on the Alberta Government website.
Roads are a shared space and shared responsibility. Let’s all do our part to keep our students and drivers safe!
We encourage students to participate in the STAA 2023 Safety Poster Contest! The theme is “The Bus Rules”.
The deadline to submit an entry is October 21, 2023 and details about the contest can be found here (there are prizes to be won!). Entry details have been shared with our schools.