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September 11th, 2013

This Week in Orange County 9-11-13

Orange County Executive Edward Diana

In recognition of Rosh Hashanah I’d like to wish our Jewish friends and neighbors a very happy New Year - L’Shana Tova. May the year ahead be a sweet one filled with good health and happiness.

This week, many students throughout Orange County returned to school. That means school buses have also returned to our roadways. Whether your child is taking the bus for the first time or a long-time rider, it’s important for you, and them, to keep some basic school bus safety tips in mind.

• Walk your child to the bus stop and wait with him until it arrives. Tell kids to stand at least three big steps back from the curb as the bus approaches and board the bus one at a time.

• Teach children to wait for the bus to come to a complete stop before getting off and never to walk behind the bus.

Remind them to be alert and to follow the bus driver’s instructions, especially when getting on and off the bus.

• If your child needs to cross the street after exiting the bus, he or she should take five big steps in front of the bus, make eye contact with the bus driver, and cross when the driver indicates it’s safe. Teach your children to look left, right, and left again before crossing the street.

• Younger students should be taught to use handrails when boarding or exiting the bus. Watch for straps or drawstrings that could get caught in the door. If a child drops something, he should tell the bus driver and make sure the bus driver is able to see him before picking it up. Loose items should be kept inside the student’s backpack.

• Once on the school bus, riders should go directly to their seat and sit down facing forward. They should remain in the seat facing forward when the school bus is moving.

• Children of all ages should be reminded to be respectful of the school bus driver, and always obey his or her instructions. Their safety is the driver’s priority and one from which they should not be distracted.

While those big yellow buses may seem hard to miss, it’s important for drivers also to be aware of them when driving and alert to buses and their signals when encountering them during your travels on the roads.

• Drivers should always follow the speed limit and slow down in school zones and near bus stops. Stay alert and look for students who may be getting on or off the school bus.

• Slow down and stop if you’re driving near a school bus that is flashing yellow or red lights. This means the bus is either preparing to stop (yellow) or already stopped (red), and children are getting on or off the school bus.

• Do not pass or attempt to pass a bus that is stopped with its lights flashing.

Please share this information with your students, as well as the drivers in your family, to help ensure that everyone has a safe school year. Best of luck to all of our students for a great year!

Until next week, I wish you all good health and happiness.

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