The Sidney Sun-Telegraph - Serving proudly since 1873 as the beautiful Nebraska Panhandle's first newspaper

Sidney Schools stress bus safety


As summer vacation comes to an end, local schools are preparing to get back in full swing.

As part of the back-to-school excitement, children will be filling the crosswalks, riding bikes and taking the bus to and from school.

With that in mind, Sidney Public Schools is taking the extra step in reminding parents and their children about bus safety as well as the set rules and regulations. According to Sidney Public Schools, they are committed to the safety of their students and believe that riding the bus is a privilege.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration believes that school busses are the safest vehicles to travel on highways, but that doesn't mean they don't have risks of their own.

Often times, the most dangerous part of the school bus ride is not actually the time spent on the bus, but getting on and off of the bus. This "danger zone" is responsible for three times as many school bus related deaths as the ride itself does, even though there are more non-fatal injuries during the ride than during the loading and unloading of students.

A reminder for other vehicles, is that once the attached stop sign is extended from the bus, vehicles are not allowed to pass the bus.

Ways to prevent injuries during the loading and unloading process include: walking to and from the bus stop with a friend or family member, get to the bus stop early, wait until the bus has come to a complete stop and safety lights are flashing, pay attention to surrounding traffic and always stay within the bus driver's view.

Sidney Public Schools encourages students who are riding the bus to be ready and waiting at least 10 minutes before the bus is expected to arrive due to busses departing at scheduled times.

Bus riding rules and procedures include:

• Stay back form the edge of the road and wait until the bus comes to a stop before attempting to get on.

• Do not push or throw objects.

• Stragglers will be left behind as the driver has a schedule to maintain.

• Remain seated until the bus stops.

• Keep feet and articles out of the aisles.

• Do not throw objects.

• Keep head and arms inside of the bus.

• Help keep the bus clean.

• Be quiet when crossing railroad tracks.

• Do not shout, whistle or gesture from bus windows.

• Eating or drinking on the bus is not permitted.

• Students must sit three in an individual seat when necessary to make room for other passengers.

• Use of tobacco is not permitted.

• The rear door must never be opened except in case of emergency.

• Do not bring objects which will impair or obstruct the driver's vision.

Students who fail to comply with the rules may face consequences including detention, suspension from school and or riding the bus and indefinitely losing the privilege to ride the bus.

"Sidney Public Schools is working hard to keep the students in our community safe," said Sidney Middle School Principal and Transportation Director Brandon Ross. "We have no state requirement to transport in town students, but we want to continue since our schools are spread out in town."

Ross also added that there are several hundred students who take advantage of the transportation in town and about 50 students who live in rural areas.


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