August 23, 2005 13:14 ET

Laidlaw Offers School Bus Safety Tips to Students and Drivers

BURLINGTON, Ontario--(CCNMatthews - Aug 23, 2005) -

The end of summer brings the start of the fall school season, and soon streets will be dotted with buses shuttling their precious cargo between home, school and after-school events. Laidlaw Education Services, whose buses carry more than four hundred and fifty thousand Canadian school children each day, has some valuable safety advice for students, parents and the other drivers who share the road with school buses.

"It's not that children are careless, they're just carefree," says Jeff Cassell, Vice President of Risk Management for Laidlaw. "Safety is our number one priority, and while school buses are the safest way to get to and from school, we can never be too careful. We have a responsibility to make sure students know how to ride the bus safely. We also need to remind other people on the road what they can do to safely share the road with school bus drivers."

Each day, more than 2.5 million students in Canada begin and end the school day with a trip on a school bus. Riding the bus is sixteen times safer than traveling to school in any other mode of transportation including the family vehicle, according to Transport Canada. The greatest risk is not riding the bus, but approaching or leaving the bus. Here are some helpful tips to keep students safe in or around the bus.

Student Safety Tips

-- Accidents often happen when students are in a hurry. Students should allow enough time to get to the bus stop five minutes before it arrives.

-- Use the sidewalks. If there are no sidewalks, walk on the left facing traffic, and stay as far to the side of the road as possible.

-- Use a backpack or tote bag to carry your items.

-- Remove drawstrings, toggles or key chains from children's clothing or the outside of backpacks since they can be caught on handrails or exit doors, which could result in injury.

-- Use the handrail when boarding or exiting the bus.

-- Once you board the bus, find a seat, sit down and talk quietly.

-- Know and carefully follow all loading and unloading rules explained to you by your school bus driver.

-- Never put your head, arms or hands out of the window.

-- Wait for the bus to stop completely before getting up from your seat.

-- Take 10 giant steps away from the bus when exiting.

-- Look both ways before crossing the road and wait for the driver's signal.

-- Keep away from the bus if you drop or forget anything.

Driver Safety Tips

-- Do not pass a school bus that has its red warning lights on. It's dangerous, and it's illegal. Every province requires that traffic in both directions on undivided roads or highways stop when students are being picked up or dropped off. On divided highways, all traffic behind the bus must stop.

-- Come to a complete stop at least 60 feet from the bus in either direction.

-- Never make a right turn in front of a bus.

-- When passing a school bus stop, slow down and watch for children crossing or standing on the side of the road. Children often run out from the front or rear of the bus.

As a fun way to encourage bus safety among young students, Laidlaw offers a free coloring book to download from its website at

Laidlaw Education Services, a subsidiary of Laidlaw International, Inc., is North America's largest private contractor of student transportation. Headquartered in Naperville, Ill., Laidlaw has a modern fleet of more than 40,000 school buses and a daily passenger load of more than 2 million school children. More information can be found at

Laidlaw International, Inc. is a holding company for North America's largest providers of school and inter-city bus transport and public transit services. The company's businesses operate under the brands: Laidlaw Education Services, Greyhound Lines, Greyhound Canada and Laidlaw Transit. The company's shares trade on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE:LI). For more information on Laidlaw International, visit the website:

Contact Information

  • Laidlaw Education Services
    Media Contact:
    Jim Switzer, 905-336-1800
    905-336-8177 (FAX)