School Bus Safety

Every day in Ontario more than 836,000 students travel to school, including field trips and sporting events, in almost 18,000 school vehicles. On a typical school day, these trips could add up to two million kilometres!

So, what can we do to keep our students safe on their daily journeys? Read on for age-appropriate lesson plans and bus safety guidelines.

Lesson Plans by Grade level

School Bus Safety Facts

Quick School Bus Safety Facts

  • Travelling by school bus is very safe! You are 16 times more likely to be injured if you’re in a motor vehicle than if you’re in a school bus.
  • Students are at the highest risk of being injured outside the bus when they are getting on and off.
  • There are Danger Zones surrounding the school bus, where the driver may not be able to see pedestrians. Pedestrians may also be at risk from traffic on the road.
  • To make sure school buses are safe for everyone, we need to teach students how to navigate the Danger Zones:

    (Ontario School Bus Association)

  • Stay out of the danger zone at all times!
  • Remember—if you can’t see the driver, the driver can’t see you!
  • Never go near the bus unless the driver has given you the signal to cross!
  • Never walk or play behind a vehicle!
  • When you go near the bus, always be sure you can see the bus driver!
  • If you drop anything in the danger zone, leave it. Never stop to pick it up!

School bus safety tips

Getting on and off the bus:

  • Be at the bus stop before the bus arrives.
  • Wait for the bus at a safe place away from the road.
  • The bus driver will tell you when to board.
  • Always use the handrail.
  • Never push or shove.
  • Take two giant steps away from the bus when getting off.
  • Walk, don’t run away from the bus.

On the bus:

  • Sit facing the driver, feet in front of you.
  • Keep your hands and your head inside the bus.
  • Keep the aisle clear at all times.
  • Always follow the bus driver’s instructions.

Crossing the road:

  • Always cross the road in front of the bus, never behind.
  • Take at least 10 giant steps in front of the bus.
  • Pass the crossing arm and stop and look at the bus driver to give you the signal that it’s safe to cross.
  • Walk, never run across the road.

Sharing the road with school buses:

Drivers should always remember to do the following:

  • Stop at least 20 metres (or five car lengths) behind the bus.
  • Comply with posted speed limits within school zones.
  • When you approach a stopped school bus from the front, stop at a safe distance to allow children to get on or off the bus and cross the road. Do not move forward until the red lights have stopped flashing and stop arm is no longer activated or the bus begins to move.
  • When driving on a road WITHOUT a median, drivers travelling in both directions must stop for a stopped school bus with its red lights flashing.
  • When driving on a road WITH a median, traffic coming from the opposite direction is not required to stop.

CAA School Safety Patrol®

  • Each year, approximately 20,000 student volunteers are trained to become CAA School Safety Patrollers by local CAA-approved training partners to keep their fellow students safe while crossing the road and getting on and off the school bus.
  • There are two types of Patrollers: Foot Patrollers and Bus Patrollers.
  • Bus Patrollers help bus drivers transport student passengers to and from school in a safe and orderly manner, all while setting a proper example for students to follow.
  • Foot Patrollers help keep students safe while crossing the road.
  • For more information about the program go to