Summer vacation is almost over, and drivers will have to plan their daily commute with school bus safety in mind.

If you have students in your household, warn your children of the many hazards associated with simply walking to the bus stop, waiting at the bus stop and riding the bus to and from school.

Look over these tips to help keep our children safe on Missouri roadways this school year.

Drivers
-- Always be extra cautious at crosswalks.

-- Watch for children walking along roadways.

-- Realize that children at bus stops may suddenly dart into the roadway. When you see children near the road, slow down and expect the unexpected.

-- If you see a group of children at the bus stop, know that others may be near-by and may be running late.

-- Learn the flashing light system that school bus drivers use to alert motorists about stopping.

-- When driving your children to school, deliver and pick them up in the drop off/pick up lane.


Students
-- If walking to the bus stop, try to link up with others so you can walk to the bus stop together.

-- Have a planned, direct route that crosses the fewest streets possible.

-- Remember to stop at the edge of the road and look left, right, then look left again before crossing.

-- At intersections, look over your shoulder for turning vehicles.

-- Arrive early at the bus stop.

-- Never go with a stranger for any reason.

-- Always stay seated on the bus and do not put heads or arms outside the bus windows.

-- When getting off of the bus, wait until the bus comes to a complete stop, exit using the handrail to avoid falls and cross the street at least 10 feet (or 10 giant steps) in front of the bus.

-- If you walk or bike to school, obey all traffic signals, signs and traffic officers.

-- Parents, periodically ask your child to recite your address, an emergency phone number, and when to call 911.

Advance planning and periodic reminders for both drivers and students on back-to-school activities can help to keep children safe.

Everyone's goal is a safe and happy school season.

(Editor's note: Anita Dietz, safety specialist with the Maneuver Support Center of Excellence Safety Office, provided this content.)