The recent tragedy where a boy lost his life in an accident involving a bus here in South Australia is a terrible reminder that we must take bus safety for children very, very seriously.
Buses are one of the safest modes of transportation for getting kids to and from school. In fact, a child is at greater risk approaching or leaving a bus than travelling on one. Teaching kids how to behave to stay safe around buses is a responsibility that we should all take very seriously.
Children are vulnerable – they are still developing their road safety skills and they don’t have the developmental maturity to cross the road safely without holding an adult’s hand until they are at least 10 years old.
They are also easily distracted. The school pick-up and drop-off is an exciting time and kids can run out suddenly from in front of or behind buses, catching drivers unaware.
Kids and Bus Safety on Bus SA website.
The Bus SA website now features a new area with information for parents, carers, teachers – and of course students – about safe behaviour around buses and out on the streets. Along with general information about bus safety, there are age specific brochures that parents and schools can print out and work through with students. There is also information about driving safely around schools.
Bus Safety Week
A cornerstone of Bus SA policy is the implementation of a Bus Safety Week – ideally to take place in late January every year or so, just before school returns for the year.
This has been high on our policy ‘wishlist’ for many years now. We passionately believe in child safety and there is a genuine need for community education around school (and public transport) bus safety and behaviours.
Similar initiatives exist in other States, and Bus SA remains ever hopeful that government will find funds that enable us to implement this vital social function.