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    Thousand Oaks, CA | October Traffic Safety Awareness – School Bus Safety

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    Nature of Incident: October Traffic Safety Awareness – School Bus Safety

    Location: Thousand Oaks, CA

    Date & Time: Month of October 2021

    Unit(s) Responsible: Thousand Oaks Police Department – Traffic Bureau


    School Bus Safety

    The Thousand Oaks Police Department strives to promote traffic safety within the community. In an effort to recognize certain hazards while driving, the Traffic Bureau is continuing a monthly traffic awareness reminder program, addressing a traffic topic each month. While we focus on a specific topic each month, it’s always imperative to constantly strive to follow all rules of the road. The month of October is dedicated to “School Bus Safety”.

    Our children have been back to school for a couple of months now, but it’s important we review some important school bus safety tips. Students are about 70 times more likely to get to school safely when taking a bus instead of traveling by car. That’s because school buses are the most regulated vehicles on the road; they’re designed to be safer than passenger vehicles in preventing crashes and injuries; and in every state, stop-arm laws protect children from other motorists.

    There is no question that seat belts play an important role in keeping passengers safe in these vehicles. But school buses are different by design, including a different kind of safety restraint system that works extremely well.

    Large school buses are heavier and distribute crash forces differently than passenger cars and light trucks do. Because of these differences, bus passengers experience much less crash force than those in passenger cars, light trucks, and vans.

    NHTSA decided the best way to provide crash protection to passengers of large school buses is through a concept called “compartmentalization.” This requires that the interior of large buses protect children without them needing to buckle up. Through compartmentalization, children are protected from crashes by strong, closely spaced seats that have energy-absorbing seat backs.

    Here are some simple rules for your child to follow:

    • Arrive at the bus stop at least 5 minutes early. Show your child where to stand which should be at least 6 feet away from the curb.
    • Your child should wait to enter the bus once it comes to a complete stop. He or she then should wait until the driver says it’s safe to board the bus.
    • Your child should never walk behind a bus. If he or she drops something around the bus, have them tell the bus driver before picking up the item.

    Here are some simple rules we as motorists should follow:

    • When backing out of a driveway or leaving a garage, watch out for children walking or bicycling to school.
    • Slow down. Watch for children walking in the street, especially if there are no sidewalks in the neighborhood.
    • Be alert. Children arriving late for the bus may dart into the street without looking for traffic.
    • Red flashing lights and extended stop arms indicate the bus has stopped and children are getting on or off. Motorists must stop their cars and wait until the red lights stop flashing, the extended stop-arm is withdrawn, and the bus begins moving before they can start driving again.

    The Thousand Oaks Traffic Bureau encourages you to sit down with your child and discuss these important issues if they plan on riding a bus. It’s also just as important to drive safely around a bus always paying close attention to the children around it.

    For more information on child passenger safety, please visit:

    Prepared by: Sgt. Dennis Sliva

    News Release Date: October 1, 2021

    Media Follow-Up Contact: Sgt. Dennis Sliva Office (805) 494-8271 [email protected]

    Approved by: Captain Dean Cook

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