I will never forget the ground rules laid down by an elementary school bus driver of mine. "Sit down, shut up and keep your feet out of the aisle"! Basic, blunt and all-encompassing. You'd probably get in trouble for talking to someone else's kids that way today, unfortunately, but there is proper etiquette to follow for both school bus passengers and pedestrians when a bus approaches.

School starts this Wednesday in Cedar Rapids so here is a quick refresher course.

These are some friendly reminders about bus safety from the Iowa Department of Education's website.


  • If you're behind the bus when its flashers start blinking, stop. This means the bus is about to stop and let kids off.
  • When approaching a bus from the opposite direction, slow your speed to 20 miles-per-hour or less.
  • Stop your vehicle by the time you are 15 feet from the bus.
  • On two-lane roads, traffic on both lanes must fully stop when the bus lights are flashing red.
  • Traffic in the opposite direction must stop and proceed with caution on four-lane roads when red or yellow flashers are present.


  • Stop and look both ways before crossing the street (this applies to all types of vehicles on the road, and even when there doesn't appear to be any vehicles in sight, obviously).
  • When getting on or off the bus, do not cross the street until the driver says it's safe
  • Make sure the driver can see you when crossing in front of the bus
  • Do not pick up lost or dropped items near the bus. Inform the driver and wait for his instructions.

Have a good and safe school year and feel free to weigh in with any other guidance or advice in the comments!

[Via Cedar Rapids Community School District, Iowa Department of Education]