The Rules of the Bus go ‘Round and ‘Round: RPS bus safety tips for kids & parents

The RPS 205 Transportation Department this week hosted an open house for parents and students to learn what to expect on their bus rides this year. About 50 people attended, including several students who were able to get on a big yellow school bus – some of them for the first time. (The Register Star was also there with great coverage and pictures.) If you missed it, don’t worry. All kindergarten students will receive bus training in the first week of school. First and second grade students will review bus training in the following weeks.

Transportation Director Gregg Wilson gave parents helpful tips (and parents should take his advice; he’s been in the bus business nearly 40 years) :

• During the first two weeks of school, plan to get to the bus stop 10 minutes early. After those first two weeks, plan to arrive five minutes early. Patience is appreciated during the first several days of school. The Transportation Department is inundated with calls requesting address changes or changes to drop off/pick up locations. On Wednesday, the department had already fielded 35 requests before noon.
• Practice walking to and from the bus stop and help your child find a landmark – a specific-color house, tree or other permanent sign for your child to know it’s safe to get off the bus at that stop.
• Before crossing the street in front of the bus, wait for your bus driver’s hand signal and permission to cross. They have better vision and will wave you ahead to cross when it’s safe.Buddy

Bus rules were also distributed. Bus drivers can assign seats. If students misbehave, they can lose their bus riding privileges. The rules are easy to follow and seem simple enough, and they’re important to remember come Monday:

-Follow the bus driver’s instructions.
-Remain seated.
-Do not fight, push or shove.
-No profanity or excessive noise.
-Do not smoke, eat or drink on the bus. Keep your bus clean.
-Do not tamper with or destroy bus equipment.
-Do not put anything out the window.
-Do not bring objectionable objects on the bus (pets, weapons, radios, skate boards, etc.).
-Get on and off the bus at your assigned stop only.

RPS 205 is working with the Rockford Police Department to remind drivers that buses are back on the roads, and students will be walking to and from school and their bus stops, as well. Here are some of those tips:

Be mindful of driving in designated school zones. Cell phone use – even a hands-free device – is illegal when driving.

Be aware of buses. They make frequent stops for students and also stop at all railroad crossings.

When crossing the street, stop and look left, right and then left again. Do the same at driveways and alleys. Remind children to look for traffic as they’re exiting the bus. While it’s illegal to drive through the stop sign/stop arm of a bus, it can happen.

If you meet your child at the bus stop after school, wait on the side where he or she will be dropped off, not across the street. Children can be excited to see you after school and forget the safety rules before crossing the street. If you drive your child to the bus stop, park on the side of the street the bus picks up, so students don’t have to cross the street to get to the bus.

Never reach under the school bus to get anything that has rolled or fallen beneath it. The bus driver may be sitting too high to see a student.

Wait for a signal from the bus driver before crossing the street. Walk at least 10 feet away from the front of the bus so the driver can see you.

If you want more information or have questions, reach out to the Transportation Department815-966-3700.

Cathy Bayer is a communications specialist for the Rockford Public Schools. For the latest news from Rockford Public Schools, “like” our Facebook page and “follow” us on Twitter.



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