Recognizing National School Bus Safety Week

National School Bus Safety Week is being observed Oct. 22 – 26.  This year’s theme is “Stand Back from the Yellow and Black”

In observance we are focusing this post on a checklist for school bus danger zones, shared from the School Bus Safety Company Driver Training Course.

What are danger zones?  Danger zones are the areas around a bus where pedestrian accidents are most likely to happen. Three danger zones are: in the front of the bus, along the passenger side, and the rear of the bus, including the left rear wheels.

What makes these areas particularly dangerous? These are the areas where the driver doesn’t have a clear view. Many reasons exist as to why students enter these areas; dropping something and returning to retrieve it, taking a shortcut close to the front or back of the bus, cutting in between parked buses, running after the bus if the student has missed the bus, walking away from the bus and then coming back.

Danger zone driver checklist

  • Have a candid discussion with riders about the danger zones
  • Have the students walk 10 big steps ahead of the bus before crossing in front
  • Give an O.K. signal when it is safe to cross in front of the bus
  • Never tolerate horseplay in or around the bus stairwell
  • Watch for strings or other dangling objects hanging off of clothing or backpack
  • Have students walk 10 feet away from the bus after exiting the bus doors
  • Watch the direction the students go when leaving the bus
  • Pay attention to the direction from which riders are approaching the bus
  • Clear your mirrors before you move and never back up near students
  • Count the students when they get off the bus and again when they are away
  • Have the students wait away from the curb until the bus stops and the door opens
  • Require students to walk, not run, to the bus when boarding
  • Pushing or shoving should not be tolerated
  • Instruct the students to remain seated when the bus is in motion
  • Park bumper to bumper in the schoolyard to leave no room for students to enter the Danger Zones

VMLIP offers more than just coverage.  We are partners in risk management. How does your insurer stack up?  Having all lines of coverage with VMLIP ensures that your organization is receiving comprehensive coverage and a wide variety of value-added services tailored to Virginia’s local governmental entities.  Call for a quote today: (800) 963-6800.  For more information on VMLIP visit: or follow us on Facebook.

** VMLIP blog postings are offered for VMLIP members to utilize in strengthening their risk management efforts.  See copyright information for clarification on sharing this information.