Avoiding Accidents Around School Buses

By Stephanie Parkinson - 21Alive

August 13, 2013 Updated Aug 13, 2013 at 5:51 PM EDT

NEW HAVEN, Ind. (21Alive) - Students are heading back to class. That means more yellow buses on the road, and more kids on the move. But for many school districts safety is something they focus heavily on.

The transportation director for East Allen County Schools says a big problem can happen when kids go behind the school buses after they get off the bus, or when parents and students run after the bus in the morning.

Melvin Falkner says these actions put kids and even parents in the bus driver's blind spots, and can lead to accidents. Falkner refers to the areas behind the bus, in front of the bus and along the side of the bus as the 'danger zone.'

Falkner also suggests parents make sure their kids aren't wearing all dark clothes. He says it makes it more difficult for drivers to see the children when they're waiting for the bus in the morning. Falkner says some of these things can take up more time, but he believes it prevents worst case scenarios.

"A lot of little safety things that we need to remember. Most of us know them but we need to take our time and be patient. I tell the drivers consistently, let's be patient, be patient, be patient. Take a little bit of extra time because you can replace, you can make up time but you can't make up for a bad accident," said Melvin Falkner, EACS Transportation Director.

For the kids Falkner says the safest way to exit the school bus is by taking 10 big steps away from the bus after getting off, and 10 big steps beyond the front bumper before crossing the street in front of the bus.

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