Bus Danger Zones

  • No child should ever be in the pink danger zone. Children leaving the bus should walk straight ahead, away from the bus, for at least 10 feet before turning in either direction. When it is necessary for children to cross in front of the bus, they should walk ten feet from the bus door, (in the direction of the white arrow) before turning toward the front of the bus.

    The front of the bus is the most dangerous area. Within the bright red zone at the front of the bus are a number of "blind spots" in which the driver cannot see a small child or one who is stooping to pick up a dropped article. The exact position and size of the blind spots depends upon the number of mirrors that the bus has, how they are arranged and adjusted, and whether or not they are clean. It is important for young children to understand that all of the red area is dangerous because the driver may not be able to see them. Children must be educated to move forward away from the front of the bus until they can see the driver's face. If the child can see the driver's face, the driver is able to see the child.

    Maintaining that line of vision is the next objective. This can be best accomplished by requiring the children in the high risk category (grades K-3) to wear a backpack or carry a book bag. If the loose objects these children so often take home are carried in a backpack or a book bag, the chances of dropping them are greatly reduced.

    The large red arrow at the top right shows the area of special danger from passing cars and other vehicles. Some children may point out that it is against the law for a car to pass a stopped school bus. That is true. The fact is, however, that an occasional driver violates the law. Since the large bus hides children from the sight of a driver passing from the rear, this situation is particularly dangerous.

    When children must cross in front of the bus, the following safety rules should be observed:

    1. Children should cross only after receiving permission from the driver or school bus patrol.
    2. Children should cross at least ten feet in front of the bus.
    3. Children should establish "eye contact" (that is, look at the bus driver) before starting across.
    4. Children should look both ways and should only enter the part of the roadway marked by the large red arrow after receiving an "all clear" sign from the driver or safety patrol.

    A third area of special danger is the bright red area at the right rear of the bus. Small or stooping children in this danger area (from the right rear wheel to the back of the bus)cannot be seen by the driver. The safety rule for this danger zone is very simple: Children should stay out of it at all times.