National School Bus Safety Week offers important reminder

Big, yellow school buses are again a common sight on weekday mornings and afternoons in Marshalltown with the school year in full swing. National School Bus Safety Week, running from Oct. 18-22, offers a great opportunity for everyone to brush up on their school bus safety knowledge.

The 2021 National School Bus Safety Week theme is “1 Bus + 1 Driver = a big impact on Education.” District Transportation staff work hard to keep students safe on the road and get them to school in a timely manner.

There are many ways for community members to help make students’ bus rides to and from school as safe as possible. Here are a few important tips to keep in mind around school buses:

• Flashing red lights mean stop for vehicles around a school bus — keep at least 25 feet away from a bus with flashing red lights to ensure students’ safety.

• Flashing yellow lights mean slow down and prepare to stop.

• Drive slower and maintain greater driving distance when a school bus is present.

• Don’t drive distracted ­ maintain focus on the road and surroundings.

• Be extra watchful for school buses between the hours of 7-8:30 a.m. and 3:30-4:30 p.m. on weekdays, when school transportation activity peaks.

Students and families should also practice safety around school buses. Here are some key things for families to remember and practice with children:

• Children should stay three giant steps away from a roadway until the bus comes to a complete stop.

• It is never safe to walk behind a school bus.

• Children should maintain a distance of about five giant steps away from the front of a bus when getting on or leaving the bus.

• Look both ways whenever crossing any street.

Several colorful, vibrant “Look Both Ways” sidewalk murals are visible at all MCSD schools, serving as a reminder to everyone, whether walking or driving, to prioritize student safety.

More school bus safety tips and resources for students, families, educators, and the wider community can be found at https://www.napt.org/. School buses are crucial to ensuring Bobcat students are transported safely to and from school – it is vital for everyone in the community to maintain caution near school buses!


Rex Kozak is the Director of Transportation for

Marshalltown Community School District.


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