Riding Cool to School!

Even safer than riding in your vehicle, riding on a school bus is the safest way for your child to travel to and from school. For twenty-three million students nationwide, the school day begins and ends with a school bus trip. The Colorado Springs Fire Department wants all of our kids to get to school safe and ready to learn. The highest risk of injury is not while on the bus, it is approaching and departing the bus. Adults must know the bus traffic safety rules, and children know all about school bus safety.

Spend the time to teach your children about bus safety. Get to the bus stop at least five minutes before the bus arrives. Always look to see if you are in the school bus "danger zone," which is the 10 feet in front, behind, and on each side of the school bus. When the bus approaches, stand at least three giant steps (6 feet) away from the curb and line up away from the street. Wait until the bus stops, the door opens, and the driver says that it's okay before stepping onto the bus. Then get on one at a time.

Ask the driver for help if you drop something while getting on or off the school bus. Remember to keep your loose items inside your backpack or book bag. Once on the school bus, go directly to your seat and sit down facing forward. Remain in your seat facing forward when the school bus is moving. Always be respectful of the school bus driver, and always obey his or her instructions. Use the handrails to avoids falls. When exiting the bus, be careful that clothing with drawstrings and book bags with straps don't get caught in the handrails or doors.


School buses keep an annual estimated 17.3 million cars off roads surrounding schools. Every school bus = 36 cars that saves 2.3 BILLION gallons of fuel!

Action Steps You Can Take

Driver Awareness
  • Yellow flashing lights indicate that the bus is preparing to stop to load or unload children. Motorists should slow down and prepare to stop their vehicles.
  • Red flashing lights and extended stop arms indicate that the bus has stopped and that children are getting on or off. Motorists must stop their cars and wait until the red lights stop flashing and the bus begins moving again.
  • Slow down. Watch for children playing and congregating near bus stops.
  • Be alert. Children arriving late for the bus may dart into the street without looking for traffic.
After getting off the bus
  • Walk five giant steps from the front of the bus
  • Cross in front of the bus when the driver indicates, look left-right-left again for traffic, then cross the street. 
  • Never walk behind the bus.
  • Walk at least three giant steps away from the side of the bus. 
  • If you drop something near the bus, tell the bus driver. Never try to pick it up because the driver may not be able to see you.

You can download and print this School Bus Safety flyer for more information.