We all have a role to play in keeping kids safe as they make their way to and from school. St Johns County Schools offers the following reminders and tips to motorists, parents and students.

Motorists: Please exercise patience and caution, especially around children and school buses. Follow these safety practices: 

  • When approaching a school bus that is stopped with its red lights flashing and its stop arms extended, motorists are required to STOP in nearly every instance. For more information on Florida’s school bus stop law and penalties, go to www.flhsmv.gov/safety-center/child-safety/school-bus-safety/. 

  • Be alert and watch for children at all times, but especially near schools, bus stops, school buses, and in school parking lots.

  • Obey all traffic laws and speed limits, paying extra attention to the lower speed limits in school zones.

  • Do not pass other vehicles in school zones or at crosswalks.

  • Do not change lanes or make U-turns in school zones.

  • Watch for and obey signals from school crossing guards.

  • Do not text or use a cell phone while driving.

  • Only drive or park in authorized areas to drop off or pick up children at school.

Parents and Students: Please discuss these safety tips together and be sure to follow them: 

  • Discuss and practice the safest way to get to and from school or the assigned school bus stop.

  • Never run out into the street or cross between parked cars.

At the School Bus Stop:

  • Arrive at the bus stop about five minutes before the bus is scheduled to arrive.

  • Follow instructions from your bus driver or the school district about where to wait at your assigned bus stop.

  • Wait in a safe place away from the road.

  • Do not run and play while waiting for the bus to arrive.

  • Never sit on the roadway while waiting for your bus.

Never speak to strangers at the bus stop and never get into the car with a stranger. Always tell your parents, the bus driver, or another responsible adult as soon as possible if a stranger tries to talk to you or pick you up.

Loading or Unloading from the Bus:

  • As the bus is approaching, watch for the red flashing lights and the stop arms to extend.

  • When the bus stops, wait for the driver’s signal that it is safe to cross the road or board the bus.

  • If crossing the street, look left, right, and left again. When the driver signals that it is safe, walk at least 12 feet in front of the bus where the driver can see you.

  • Never walk behind the school bus.

  • Never run after the bus.

  • Hold the handrail while going up and down the stairs.

  • Go directly to your bus seat and remain seated during the entire ride.  Exit the bus only at your assigned bus stop.

  • If you drop something near the bus, tell the bus driver. Never try to pick it up first, because the driver may not be able to see you.

  • Parents or guardians of small children should wait with them in the morning and meet them at the bus stop in the afternoon.


Riding in the School Bus:

  • Keep hands, arms, and head inside bus.

  • Always buckle up properly if your school bus has safety belts.  Stay in your seat and obey the driver.

  • Remain seated at all times and keep the aisle clear.

  • Stop talking and remain silent when the bus comes to a railroad crossing so the driver can hear if a train is approaching.

  • Avoid any loud or disruptive behavior that could distract the bus driver from safely operating the bus.

  • Be courteous and respectful to your driver. Safely getting you to and from school is a tremendous responsibility that the driver takes very seriously.

Photos credit: St. Johns County School District