School Bus Safety
For many schools, August and September mark the beginning of a new school year. As children
are returning to school ensuring their safety is a top priority. This holds true not only within our
homes but also to the outside world and their daily commute to school. School buses are
essential vehicles that carry our future generations, and it is vital for everyone from children to
motorists to understand and practice school bus safety. The alarming statistics from 2022 which
reported nearly 3,000 crashes involving school buses, highlights the importance of school bus
safety. With Florida's school buses transporting our children, Dr. Deryk Harting, a member of
one of the highest ranked auto injury medical facilities in the Tampa Bay area, explains we must
take proactive measures to prevent accidents and protect young lives. One key aspect of this
effort is establishing safe practices at bus stops.
At bus stops, children must be taught to prioritize their safety by waiting in designated safe areas
away from the road. A crucial rule to remember is to never sit on the roadway or curb while
awaiting the arrival of their school bus. This simple yet important practice minimizes the risk of
accidents and ensures that children remain visible and out of harm's way.
Legal Responsibilities of Motorists
The responsibility of ensuring school bus safety does not only rest with children and their
parents. Motorists must also play their part by staying watchful and exercising caution around
school parking lots, school buses, school crossings, bus stops, and in school zones. Additionally,
using a cellphone in a handheld manner while driving in a designated school crossing, school
zone, or active work zone area is dangerous and against the law. According to Florida law,
drivers are required to stop when approaching a school bus that has its red lights flashing and
stop arms extended.
On two-way streets, all drivers in both directions must come to a complete stop for a school bus
displaying a stop signal. This stop must be maintained until the road is clear of children and the
school bus stop arm is withdrawn. Similarly, on highways divided by a paved median, drivers in
both directions are obligated to halt for a school bus with its stop signal displayed. Again, this
stop must be sustained until the road is clear of children and the stop arm is retracted.
Exceptions are made for divided highways with raised barriers or unpaved medians at least 5 feet
wide. In this scenario, oncoming drivers do not have to stop but they should exercise caution,
slow down, and be watchful of students entering or exiting the bus.
Penalties for passing a stopped school bus are severe given the potential consequences. They
include moving violations subject to citation, mandatory completion of a driver improvement
course, points on the driver's license, and substantial fines. For those who illegally pass a stopped
school bus resulting in injury or death, the penalties escalate significantly.
School Bus Safety Tips for Parents and Children
Parents can play a vital role in ensuring their children’s safety by imparting the following school
bus safety tips:
-Arrive Early: Encourage your child to arrive at the bus stop about five minutes before the
bus is scheduled to arrive.
-Safe Waiting: Emphasize the importance of waiting in a safe area away from the road and
never sitting on the roadway or curb.
-Know the Bus Driver: Ensure your child knows their bus driver's name and bus number
for easy identification.
-Stranger Danger: Teach your child to never speak to strangers at the bus stop or get into a
car with a stranger. Instruct them to inform parents, the bus driver, or a teacher if
-Crossing the Street: Teach your child to always look both ways before crossing the street,
making eye contact with the bus driver before crossing, and to wait for the driver's signal
-Behavior on the Bus: Instruct your child to remain seated at all times, keep the aisle clear,
and avoid putting any body parts out of the window.
-Silence at Railroad Crossings: Remind your child to stay quiet when the bus comes to a
railroad crossing to help the driver hear approaching trains.
-Avoid Disruption: Encourage your child to avoid loud or disruptive behavior that could
distract the bus driver.
School bus safety is a shared duty to ensure children's wellbeing. Collectively, we can reduce
school bus risk by following safe practices at bus stops, enforcing motorist laws, and educating
parents and children on safety tips.
— This article is written by Deryk Harting, DC, one of the members of Chambers Medical
Group’s team of car accident chiropractors who offer a variety of treatments and therapies
ranging from diagnostic testing to various soft tissue therapies for car accidents and injuries in
Have you been in a car accident? If you or somebody you know has been in a car accident, be sure that you seek medical attention from a car accident doctor or car accident chiropractor to treat your injuries. Visit Chambers Medical Group to receive world-class medical treatment for your injuries.
Chambers Medical Group has car accident medical clinics in the following locations: