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Getting to School SafelyA group of elementary school children exit bus on the first day of school.

Tips for Students, Parents, & Drivers

The school year is here! No matter how your child gets to school, take the time to talk with them about safety.

Bus Safety

Will your children ride the bus to school? Review these safety tips with them before school begins:

  • Do not stand on the curb or street while waiting for the bus. Stand back from the road.
  • When the bus arrives, wait until it comes to a complete stop and the driver waves you on, especially if you have to cross the street!
  • Make sure you can see the driver before and while you cross. You should cross about ten feet in front of the bus!
  • Always follow the driver’s instructions on the bus!
  • When you are getting on or off the bus, stop and look both ways before you cross the street.
  • Buckle your seatbelt and stay seated throughout the bus ride.

For more tips and resources on school bus safety to review with your children, visit

Parent Drop-Off Safety

If you are dropping your children off at school, make sure you:

  • Go slowly!
  • Remind children to cross at crosswalks and always look both ways.
  • Minimize distractions. Do not use your cellphone while driving.
  • Follow the rules and procedures set up by your child’s school for the drop-off process.

Walking and Biking Safety

If your children walk to school or ride their bikes, review these safety tips with them!

When walking…

  • Stay on the sidewalk
  • Walk facing traffic
  • Look both ways before crossing the street
  • Minimize distractions when walking. Pay attention to what you are doing and don’t get distracted by your phone.

When biking…

  • Wear a helmet while riding your bike.
  • Wear bright clothing so make sure you are visible to all drivers.
  • Ride on the right side of the road, and walk your bike across the street.

    Teen Driving Safety

    Does your teenager drive to school?

    It’s important that teens know the dangers of driving and what they can do to stay safe.

    According to the National Safety Council, crashes involving teen drivers resulted in 5,565 fatalities in 2021 (2,116 were the young driver involved, while 3,449 were young passengers, occupants of other vehicles, or non-occupants). The CDC found that teens are three times more likely to be involved in a fatal crash than drivers above the age of 20. These accidents are often due to the drivers’ lack of experience (especially at night or in adverse weather conditions), distractions, speeding, not wearing seatbelts, and/or driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

    If your teenager is driving to school or riding with another teen driver, talk to them about driving safety.

    Here are some driving safety tips for teenagers from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation:

    • Always wear your seat belt.
    • Obey the speed limit. Going too fast gives you less time to react.
    • Use your turn signals so other drivers know what you are doing.
    • Don’t drink and drive. Drinking under the age of 21 is illegal.
    • Focus on the driving task-the road and the conditions around you.
    • Don’t use your cell phone while driving. This is a distraction that will take your attention away from driving.
    • Don’t eat or drink while driving. These are also distractions.
    • Plan ahead. Know where you are going and get directions.
    • Leave early. Give yourself plenty of time to get there. 

    Tips for All Drivers

    All drivers should be mindful in the months ahead to ensure all children arrive to school safely throughout the year.

    As children begin the school year, remember:

    • Obey speed limits. Pay attention to school zone signs and adjust your speed accordingly. Stay vigilant in these areas.
    • Always yield to pedestrians at crosswalks.
    • Share the road.
    • Never pass a school bus. When the lights flash yellow, begin slowing down, and when the lights on the bus are red, stop.
      • Make sure you allow plenty of room for children to cross (children should cross at least 10 feet out from the bus to ensure the driver sees them!)


    Click here to explore other blogs about Safety & Health.

    This blog was adapted from an earlier version. It was originally published by Merchants on August 13, 2019.

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