Bus safety tips ahead of the first day of school


SPRINGDALE, Ark. (KNWA) — Thousands of northwest Arkansas students will start school tomorrow (August 13). Some of them will be riding the school bus for the first time.

Transportation director for the Springdale School District, Dana Samples said there are a few things you can do to make sure they’re ready.

  • Practice with your kids. Teach them proper bus behavior like staying seated and quiet.
  • Talk about concerns. Let your kids know it’s okay to be nervous and find out the reasons why.
  • Plan ahead. Make sure your kids know what’s going on when they get on the bus in the morning and when they travel home.

“We always recommended a backup plan,” Samples said. “We are really big on planning our kids. And sometimes we don’t do a good job of that as parents. We assume too much. Don’t assume anything.”

Samples said drivers also have a big role to play when it comes to keeping kids safe.

Be alert when driving and remember that Arkansas law prohibits using a cell phone in a school zone.

Also, pay attention to the lights on the bus. If they are flashing and the stop arms are extended, you need to come to a complete stop.

This will minimize danger during the most dangerous times of a bus ride: loading and unloading.

“In Arkansas, there have been few fatalities,” Samples said. “We’re so blessed that we’ve been able to have a good safety record. but there have been a few. And that’s not acceptable.”

The district works closely with the police department to enforce these safety rules.

Samples said things will take longer on the first day of school as everyone gets used to the new routine. He encourages everyone to be patient as they wait for the bus.

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