Health eTips

Headline Banner

Health eTips is produced by the staff of the St. Charles County Department of Public Health. The department consists of three divisions - Environmental Health and Protection, Health Services and Humane Services - that provide a wide range of services focused on enhancing the well-being of this community.

If you have questions about the Department of Public Health or have suggestions on public health topics you'd like to see explored in this blog, please email us.

View All Posts

Aug 10

School Bus Safety

Posted on August 10, 2017 at 8:48 AM by Doug Bolnick


The American School Bus Council and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimate that every school bus in action reduces the need for up to 36 cars driving children to and from class, removing more than 17 million cars from traffic across the United States.
With school busses criss-crossing our communities as our kids return to school this month, now is a good time to review bus safety tips — both for students and drivers.

Bus Danger Zones
Students should be award of the “danger zone,” the area approximately 10 feet surrounding the bus where the driver is unable to see. School districts schedule bus stops at approximate times every day, and kids should plan to arrive at these designated areas at least five minutes before the planned arrival. When the bus comes to a stop, kids should not board until instructed by the driver and enter one at a time. Once aboard, riders should go directly to their seat and sit down, facing forward, until arriving at the destination. Always follow the directions of the bus driver.

Busses come equipped with warning mechanisms that can help students and drivers. These include:
  • Yellow flashing lights – Indicate that the bus is about to stop within the next 500 feet and that motorists should stop until the area clears.
  • Red flashing lights and STOP signal arm – Indicate that the bus has stopped and children are boarding/exiting. Missouri law requires that all drivers on a two-lane road must stop until the signal is withdrawn. If driving on a four- or larger-lane road, all drivers traveling the same direction as the bus must stop, but those in the opposite direction should continue.

Walk Safely
Students walking to school or bus stops should be aware of their surroundings and obey simple safety precautions:
  • Use sidewalks when provided or walk facing traffic, near the edge of the road, if no sidewalks are available.
  • Use designated pedestrian crossing areas or intersections. Check all directions before crossing a street.
  • Do not enter roadways between parked cars or from behind trees/bushes to help drivers see you before crossing.
  • Do not assume that a driver will stop. Pay attention to your surroundings and wait until it is safe to enter the crosswalk/roadway.
  • When boarding/exiting a bus, do not go back to the bus or bend over to pick up dropped items, as the driver may not see you in his or her “danger zone.”

Drive Aware
Drivers in the community should also be aware of the increased traffic and activity around bus stops and school communities. When backing out of driveways, garages and other parking areas, be sure to check twice for children walking or biking to their stop or school. Drive slower and be more aware of the surroundings each morning and afternoon to enhance safety.

Local Public Schools
Follow these links to discover more information on the school district near you:
Fort Zumwalt School District
Francis Howell School District
Orchard Farm School District
St. Charles City School District
Washington School District
Wentzville School District

For additional Health eTips, please follow us on Facebook and Twitter.