The most dangerous part of the school bus ride is getting on and off the school bus. The loading and unloading area is called the “Danger Zone”.  

The “Danger Zone” is the area on all sides of the bus where children are in the most danger of not being seen by the driver (ten feet in front, ten feet on either side of the bus, and ten feet behind are all areas where a child may be in the driver’s blind spot). It only takes a second to lose sight of a student if a driver becomes distracted by students on board the bus.  

When training our bus drivers we stress the importance of safe loading and unloading procedures.  This is where our drivers need to be fully focused and cannot be distracted by students or parents.

It is important to have parents understand that drivers need their cooperation to be fully focused at this time, by not parking and staying away from the loading and unloading zones.  Please park well away from loading zones at all times.

  • It is also important to instruct students in the proper procedure for loading and unloading.
  • Be cautious when carrying loose papers or books which might drop near the bus – we encourage students to use a book bag.
  • Be aware of the dangers of clothing, book bag, backpack, and jacket strings/straps that could become entangled in the doorway of the school bus.
  • Wait in an orderly fashion safely back from roadway or pick-up zone. Students need to be at their stop three to five minutes early.  The time you have been given for pick-up is the time the bus departs from your stop.  
  • Board the bus in single file; use the handrail so you don’t trip on the steps.
  • Sit down right away, so you don’t fall when the bus starts moving.
  • Sit back in your seat, face forward and keep your feet to the front. 
  • Keep the aisle clear of feet, backpacks, books, etc.
  • Talk quietly in order that you do not  distract the driver.  Remember, it’s the driver’s responsibility to keep you safe!
  • Keep your head, arms, and hands inside the bus, not out the window.
  • Never throw things in the bus or out the window.
  • Wait for the bus to come to a complete stop and the doors to open before you leave your seat.
  • After leaving the bus, take five giant steps away from the bus so you are out of the Danger Zone and in a safe spot.  
  • If you need to cross in front of the bus make sure you look at the driver for a signal that it is okay for you to cross the roadway.