Ed Day, Rockland County Executive

September 9, 2020
Contact: John Lyon, Director of Strategic Communications (845) 638-5645
                 Patricia Schnabel Ruppert, D.O., M.P.H., CPE, DABFM, FAAFP (845) 364-2512


NEW CITY, NY, - Students who are returning to in-person instruction may rely on school buses to get them to and from school safely, and that means more children and buses on the roads. With the start of the new school year, Rockland County Executive Ed Day and County Health Commissioner Dr. Patricia Schnabel Ruppert remind residents to share a few simple tips with your children to help them stay safe when traveling to and from school.

"School buses are designed to be safer than passenger vehicles in preventing crashes and injuries, and are considered to be the safest way for children to travel to school and back, however, there are dangers when children are getting on and getting off the bus, and during the current COVID-19 pandemic, there are additional and unique challenges to keep students safe. Help your children be careful by following a few safety tips," said Dr. Ruppert.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the New York State Education Department (NYSED) recommend you teach your child the following safety tips:

  • Safety starts at the bus stop: Your child should arrive at the bus stop at least five minutes before the bus is scheduled to arrive. Show your child where to wait for the bus: at least three giant steps (six feet) away from the curb. Remind your child that the bus stop is not a place to run or play.
  • Get on and off safely: When the school bus arrives, your child should wait until the bus comes to a complete stop, the door opens, and the driver says it's okay before approaching the bus door. Your child should use the handrails to avoid falling.
  • Use caution around the bus: Your child should never walk or cross the street behind a school bus. If your child must cross the street to get to the bus, tell him/her to walk on a sidewalk or along the side of the street to a place at least five giant steps (10 feet) in front of the bus before crossing. Your child should also make eye contact with the bus driver before crossing to make sure the driver can see him/her. If your child drops something near the school bus, like a ball or book, the safest thing is for your child to tell the bus driver right away. Your child should not try to pick up the item because the driver might not be able to see him/her.
  • COVID-19 safety: Students should wear masks on the bus at all times and adhere to the school district's protocol on social distancing (six feet separation) requirements and guidelines at bus stops and on buses.

Let this school year be a safe one for everyone. Bus Safety is a team effort of bus driver, student, the motoring public, and parents. Follow these practices to make school bus transportation safer.

For more information visit the NHTSA website at and