School Bus Safety
Our school bus rules are in accordance with Washington state law. These regulations are designed to assure every student has safe transportation to and from school, and school-sponsored activities. Please use this page to familiarize yourself with how to keep students safe while their on the bus and while driving near near a school bus.
Getting on the Bus
- Be ready at your stop, and visible to the driver, at least 5 minutes before your bus is scheduled to arrive.
- Stay on the sidewalk or shoulder.
- Wait in a straight line 10 feet from where the bus will stop.
- Respect your neighbors by waiting quietly and not entering their property.
- Wait until the bus stops, the doors open and the driver motions before you approach the bus.
- Never run for the bus.
- Stay in a single file line and load the bus in an orderly fashion.
- Use the handrail when entering the bus.
- Quickly find an open seat.
- We recommend younger students sit near the front of the bus.
Behavior on the Bus
- Sit facing forward with your back against the back of the seat at all times.
- Slide over to leave room for others.
- Keep your arms and legs out of the aisle.
- Keep your backpack on your lap.
- Keep your head, hands, and belongings inside the bus.
- Talk quietly with your seat buddy. Loud noises may distract your driver.
- Conversations on the bus should remain kind and respectful.
- Eating, drinking and cell phone use is prohibited on the bus.
Exiting the Bus
- Know your bus stop location. Do not get off at any other stop without a bus pass.
- Remain seated until the bus comes to a complete stop and the door opens.
- Enter the aisle one seat at a time and unload in an orderly fashion.
- Always use the handrail when exiting the bus.
- Immediately move at last 10 feet away from the bus.
- If you are crossing, stand 10 feet in front of the bus and wait for the driver to motion.
- Look both ways before crossing.
- Never cross behind the bus.
The Danger Zone
- When unloading, immediately move away from the bus and walk to your destination.
- The danger zone is 10 feet around the outside of the bus. Always stand where you can see the driver and the driver can see you.
- If crossing the street, stand at least 10 feet in front of the bus and wait for the driver to motion before crossing.
- If something falls under or near the bus, tell the driver. Never try to pick it up yourself.
- Northshore drivers perform two emergency bus evacuation drills with their students every year.
- Drivers also provide verbal reminders of emergency evacuation procedures mid-year.
- Safety equipment on the bus includes a fire extinguisher, body fluid cleanup kit, first aid kit, reflective triangles and a seat belt cutter.
- Each bus is equipped with a two-way radio so drivers can communicate with dispatch in an emergency situation.
- Our buses are routinely inspected for safety.
- Washington State Patrol performs inspections twice a year.
Rules of the Road
Do you know when to stop for the bus?
School bus safety is not just for those riding the bus. It is imperative for the safety of our students that drivers know when and where to stop for a school bus. Depending on the type of road and the traveling direction, drivers must respect the the flashing stop paddle as if it were a regular stop sign. Failure to stop may result in a $430 citation.
Two-Lane Road: All drivers must stop
A two-lane road has one lane going in both directions. Drivers going in both directions must stop when the stop paddle is displayed.
Multi-Lane Road: Same direction traffic must stop
A multi-lane road has three or more lanes going in either direction, including a turning lane. On a multi-lane road, drivers are not required to stop if traveling in the opposite direction of the bus, but should slow down and proceed with caution.
Divided Road: Same direction traffic must stop
A divided road has a median or barrier wider than 18 inches between lanes traveling in the opposite direction. On a divided road, drivers are not required to stop if traveling in the opposite direction of the bus, but should slow down and proceed with caution.
When to Stop for a School Bus (with Dogs)
Approximately 15 million stop paddles are run every year. So we've recruited some furry friends to help you remember when to stop for a school bus.