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Learning to Ride the Bus Safely

Our top priority is student safety. You can help ensure the safety of all passengers by teaching your child the importance of following pedestrian and bus safety rules at all times.


Is your child new to riding the bus? Watch our school bus safety video and feel prepared before they hop on board for the first time. Learn more about boarding the bus, danger zones, crosswalks and riding the bus.

Waiting for the yellow bus

When waiting for the yellow bus, students should:

  • arrive 5 minutes before the bus pick up time
  • respect private property and keep noise to a minimum
  • wait for the bus at a safe place away from the road
  • line up in an orderly fashion before loading the bus
  • wait for the bus to come to a complete stop before approaching and boarding
  • ensure that belongings are ready for loading and storage
  • avoid the danger zone (three metres in all directions)

Getting on and off the yellow bus

When getting on and off the yellow bus, students should:

  • wait until the bus comes to a complete stop before standing up
  • use the handrail and climb one stair at a time
  • show the bus driver their bus pass
  • tell an adult or the driver if they drop something outside of the bus
  • take five giant steps away from the bus to get out of the danger zone
  • only exit the bus through the front door

Crosswalks, danger zones and blind spots

The danger zone is the three metre area around the yellow bus where the driver cannot see or has limited vision.  Students are probably within the danger zone and too close to the bus if they:

  • can touch the bus
  • can’t see the driver

A yellow school bus surrounded by blocks of red to represent the danger zone and green for the safety zone.

Enhanced signage, road markings and crossing lights make crosswalks the safest way to cross the road, but teach your child to never cross the street in front of a bus. If a student is using a crosswalk after getting off the bus, they should:

  • avoid the blind spots created by the three-metre danger zone around the school bus
  • wait for the bus to pull safely away
  • walk to the nearest intersection
  • wait for vehicles to stop and safely cross the street.

If you have concerns about roads, signage or traffic controls, contact Student Transportation.

Yellow bus warning lights and mechanical arms

Traffic laws restrict the use of certain yellow bus warning lights and mechanical stopping arms in urban settings. Within the urban areas of the Edmonton, there are very few areas where using these devices is allowed by law.

Safety in rural areas

  • On designated roads with speed limits of more than 50 kilometers per hour, yellow bus drivers may use the eight-light warning system on the bus to stop traffic when students are getting on or off the bus.
  • Students may have to cross at private lanes. Upon the instruction of the bus driver, students should cross in front of the bus at least five meters (15 feet) from the bus.

Riding the bus

When riding the yellow bus, students should:

  • remain seated and face forward
  • speak quietly and politely
  • obey the driver’s instructions as they would obey the principal
  • treat fellow riders with respect and courtesy
  • keep body and baggage out of the aisle
  • keep personal items (books, sports equipment, electronics, etc.) enclosed within a backpack
  • never put any object or body part out of a window
  • avoid wearing hazards such as loose clothing, scarves and drawstrings
  • not eat or drink on the bus
  • not throw objects on the bus or at the bus.

School Bus Evacuation Drills

School bus evacuation drills are critical in ensuring that students are familiar with how to exit the bus quickly and safely in an emergency. All bus drivers must conduct at least two evacuation drills per school year. The first drill is to be completed on or before November 30 and the second on or before April 30. For more information about school bus evacuation drills, contact your child’s school.