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20 Must-know Safety Tips for School Bus Drivers

At an initial glance school bus might not seem different from other buses, but there are vast differences between school bus and other buses. Compared to driving by themselves or riding with friends, students are about 50 times more likely to arrive at school alive on a school bus.

School bus, no doubt is the ultimate solution for safe transportation of children to and from school. There are a lot of factors that adds to the safety of school bus. From GPS tracking to RFID tags, school bus attains full points as far as safety of children is measured.

School bus driver plays a vital role in managing and maintaining the school bus. There are guidelines for the school bus driver to be followed. The task of picking up of students from stops and dropping them off at school are managed by the school bus drivers. They also transport students and faculty to field trips or sporting events.

School bus drivers often work split shifts of mornings and afternoons. They hold a very important responsibility of transportation of the students.The role of drivers might appear small but there are a lot of things that drivers must concentrate on.

Safety tips for school bus drivers

1. Usually drivers follow a strict time schedule, but under no circumstances safety should be sacrificed to maintain schedule
2. The driver should be well aware that he represents the school so he must display a clean personality with good behavior
3. Leave at the right time to the bus stop, don’t rush
4. Should concentrate on moving traffic
5. Pay attention to the traffic and safety measures, do not listen to music player, do not play handheld video games which can lead to distractions and accidents
6. Never wear hood while driving as it can make difficulty in hearing and seeing traffic
7. Ensure that all the children are safely seated before starting the bus
8. Be courteous and show respect to children
9. Be friendly to children but concentrate more on road while driving
10. Stop for picking and dropping of children
11. Drive with the headlights on, even during day time
12. Be prepared to act accordingly during emergency situation
13. Deal with the public in a positive, courteous and respectful manner
14. Remain alert for ice, debris, or slippery spots
15. Alerts about bad weather should be noticed
16. If the bus is trapped on tracks, evacuate the bus immediately
17. The speed should always be under control
18. Do not rush to reach the destination fast, always put safety prior to schedule
19. After every drive, bus drivers should check all seats and interior
20. Do not smoke or consume alcohol inside the school bus

Primary Responsibilities of the school bus drivers

• Transportation of the children to and from school
• Transportation on scheduled time and route
• Before operating the bus, ensure the functioning of the bus. Check the bus tires, breaks, lights, and oil.
• Helping disabled children to enter and exit the bus
• Ensuring that children are seated before the bus starts
• Keenly following the traffic rules
• Informing the passengers of any delay
• Staying updated about the latest driving rules
• Remain alert for ice, debris, or slippery spots
• Emergency numbers must be kept with the drivers
• Drive students and staff members to field trips, sporting events, and other outdoor activities

Knowledge and skills

The driver should possess combination of thorough knowledge, skills and abilities.

Driver’s knowledge should include

• All routes including the highways
• School bus regulations
• Dealing with children
• Dealing with children of special needs
• Scheduling system and procedures
• Record keeping system
• Equipment cleaning standards and procedures

Skills and abilities of the driver

• Operating the school bus in a safe and responsible manner
• Skills of client service and public interaction
• Team building
• Problem solving skill
• Quick decision making capability
• Verbal and listening skill
• Ability to write and read
• Stress management
• Time management

There are some must follow qualities for being a perfect school bus driver

• Honesty and trustworthy
• Respectfulness
• Cultural awareness and sensitivity
• Should be flexible
• Demonstrate sound work ethics

Special direction for the drivers to follow

There are some safety measures that must be followed by the by school bus drivers.

• The driver should not leave the bus with motor running
• While children are on the bus, driver should never fill the gasoline tank
• No one other than authorized people should drive the school bus
• Driver should not merchandise animals, weapons, or other loads or attachments when transporting children
• There must be a back up bus in the school
• Move the bus only after all the riders are seated
• Do not consume alcohol before driving
• Report to the concerned authority if there are unmanageable pupils
• Never put the child to walk home
• Never use abusive language
• While transporting pupils, driver shall not exceed 15 m.p.h
• Promptly file all reports, routes, schedules and instructions for picking and dropping

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20 Must-know Safety Tips for School Bus Drivers
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