~450,000 school buses transport more than 24 million children every school day. This makes school buses the largest mass transit program in the U.S. And yet, 20-30% of morning traffic is generated by parents driving kids to school. 50% of children struck by cars near schools are hit by parents driving kids to school. The greatest risk is approaching and leaving school buses. Teach your children these essential traffic safety rules and make sure they remember them all year round. Children: Get to the bus stop a few minutes before the bus is scheduled to arrive. Never walk behind the bus. If there are many kids at the stop, line up away from the street. Wait until the bus completely stops and the driver indicates that it’s OK to board the bus. Walk on the sidewalk or along the side of the road to a point safely ahead of the bus, in order to cross the street in front of the bus. Ensure that you can see the driver and that the driver sees you. Stand 3 steps away from the curb. Use the bus handrails to avoid falls, especially in rainy or slippery weather. Walk at least three giant steps away from the side of the bus. Tell the driver if you drop something near the bus. Don’t assume the driver sees you. Never try to pick it up without advising the driver. Be careful that dangling clothing, loose strings, or book bags with straps don’t get caught in the handrails or doors of the bus. Drivers: Watch out for: Children walking or bicycling when backing out of a driveway or leaving a garage. Children who may not be paying attention. Children walking in the street where there are no sidewalks. Children playing and congregating near bus stops. Be alert. Children arriving late for the bus may dart into the street without looking for traffic. Learn and obey the school bus laws in your state. Learn the “flashing signal light system” that school bus drivers use to alert motorists of pending actions. Yellow flashing lights: 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: The bus has stopped, and children are getting on or off. Motorists must stop their cars, wait until the red lights stop flashing and the extended stop sign is withdrawn.