Safety is the number one priority of every LEA in North Carolina. Ensuring that every student arrives to school safely requires students, bus drivers, parents, and other road users to some simple guidelines. On this page, you can learn about the procedures you should follow and what you should teach your child.
Getting To and From School Safely
Numerous studies show that getting to and from school by school bus is the safest way to do so – bar none. The most dangerous part of this journey is getting to and from the school bus stop and getting on and off the bus. Teachers, principals, parents and school bus drivers have a responsibility to make sure that students know proper behavior and rules during this time. The following resources can help schools comply with the state requirement to provide school bus safety training at least twice per school year, including within the first five days of school. You can also find out more about seat belts and child restraint systems from UNC’s Highway Safety Research Center.
North Carolina Crossing Procedures
Since January 1, 2016 North Carolina school districts have been using a standard crossing signal to help protect students when they need to cross the street to board the bus or after exiting the bus. The school bus driver will first hold palm out indicating that students should WAIT before stepping into the roadway. After the driver has checked for safety, he or she will then give students a “thumbs up” indicating that the students should then check for traffic and then cross the street. The driver will indicate the direction to walk by pointing with his or her index finger.
Pedestrian & Bicyclist Safety
Walking or bicycling can be a great way to get to school, particularly in neighborhoods with infrastructure designed to facilitate a variety of modes. Below you’ll find some links to teach you child how to maximize their safety when biking or walking, as well as resources for increasing the walkability of your neighborhood.
The North Carolina Department of Transportations has prepared a curriculum to teach students how to walk and bike to school safely.
Check out the North Carolina Safe Routes to School Program.
Let’s Go NC! Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety Curriculum
The Division of Bicycle and Pedestrian Transportation worked with NC State’s Institute of Transportation Research and Education to develop “Let’s Go NC!, A Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety Skills Program for Healthy, Active Children”, designed to aid instructors in teaching and encouraging safe pedestrian and bicycle behaviors. Through this curriculum children develop skills that will promote healthy transportation choices.
Lesson Plans for Pedestrian Safety – Including School Bus Safety
School Bus Safety is one of the components of the pedestrian safety curriculum. A series of 5 lessons teaches basic pedestrian safety concepts at different elementary grade levels. Lesson plans, interactive skill-building activities and a video are provided.
DOWNLOAD LESSON PLANS & VIDEOS
Lessons are designed to be taught in order within each teaching level. Concepts learned in the first three lessons provide a foundation for the following lessons. All pedestrian lessons include a discussion and demonstration of core concepts, a skill-building activity and a video to accompany the lesson review
Video for K-5 (4:30 Minutes)