Bus Safety - The Importance of The Yellow Bus 

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Why is a school bus yellow? Why not blue or green or red? School buses used to be all different colors, but in 1939, education expert Frank W. Cyr conducted a study with transportation and paint officials to standardize these colors. It was determined that yellow stood out in the harshest weather conditions, and having one universal color for school buses would alert drivers on the road that students may be on board.  

Bus safety has evolved over the years to add pedestrian safety devices (stop arms), rollover protection, and bus joint strength, to name a few. “Yellow school buses provide crash protection to their occupants that is unequaled by any other vehicle type,” a source from the National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation Services

While school buses are designed to be as safe as possible, it is also essential for students to follow safety guidelines to keep themselves and others safe. At Sycamore Community School District 427, bus drivers ask students daily to sit facing forward, staying out of the aisle. “It is for the safety of the students,” said Kathy Sheahan, Transportation Coordinator at District 427.  “In the event of an accident, the safest way for students to be sitting is in their seat, not in the aisle, and facing forward.”

While properly sitting on the bus is important, students must also keep their noise level low so bus drivers can listen for their CB radio, medical vehicles on the road, and trains at railroad crossings.  

When waiting at a bus stop, students should stay on the sidewalk and away from the curb. When the bus arrives, students should allow the bus to come to a complete stop, the cross arm and stop sign to appear, and wait for the bus driver to signal it is okay to board the bus. “Entering and exiting the bus is where students can get hurt. Always go to the front of the bus if you are going to cross the street, and wait for the bus driver to give indication it is okay to cross,” said Sheahan. 


For additional bus safety guidelines to talk to your student(s) about, visit https://s427.org/d99f87.