Here is some information and tips provided by the South Carolina Department of
Public Transportation

​Twenty-three million students nationwide ride a school bus to and from school each day. Wherever you live, the familiar yellow school bus is one of the most common motor vehicles on the road. It is also the safest. School buses manufactured after January 1, 1977 must meet more federal motor vehicle safety standards than any other type of motor vehicle. In fact, during normal school transportation hours over the past 10 years, school buses are 87 times safer than passenger cars, light trucks, and vans, according to the Fatality Analysis Reporting System at the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Getting On and Off the Bus Safely

Because getting on and off the bus is the most dangerous part of the school bus ride, the loading and unloading area is called the “Danger Zone.” This area-which extends ten feet in front of the bus, ten feet on each side of the bus, and behind the bus-is where children are at greatest risk of not being seen by the bus driver.


Throughout the year, especially at the start of school, children need to be taught how to get on and off the school bus safely. Parents should help their children learn and follow these common-sense practices:

  • Get to the bus stop at least five minutes before the bus is scheduled to arrive. Running to catch the bus is dangerous and can lead to injuries.
  • When the bus approaches, stand at least five giant steps (10 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.
  • If you have to cross the street in front of the bus, walk on the sidewalk or along the road to a point at least five giant steps ahead of the bus before you cross. Be sure that the bus driver can see you and you can see the bus driver when crossing the street. Stop at the edge of the bus and look left-right-left before crossing.
  • Use the handrails to avoid falls. When getting off the bus, be careful that clothing with drawstrings and book bags and backpacks with straps don’t get caught in the handrails or door.
  • Never walk behind the bus.
  • Walk at least five 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 might not be able to see you.​

Stop Arm Violation

Education & Enforcement

The Motoring Public:
  • We must do a better job of educating the motoring public about the S.C. laws pertaining to school bus stop signs.
  • The S.C. Stop Arm Law should be an element of every driver's education course and material should be available at every Department of Motor Vehicles throughout the state. The law should be included on the written test that is taken to obtain a driver's license.
  • Public Service Announcements (PSA) should be made to educate the public about the proper procedures when approaching a stopped school bus. PSA's should also mention the dangers involved with passing a stopped school bus.