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23Apr2018

Measures to be Taken in Case of School Bus Breakdown

There are a lot of things to be taken care of while doing a school bus trip. As there are a lot of lives at stake, extra measures needs to be taken for the safe and comfort of all the people inside the vehicle.

Even though precautions are taken for ensuring the school trip is done safely, there exist chances where hiccups occur, just like the case of a breakdown.

Let's go through this article and check on the measures to be taken while in case of a school bus breaks down.

  • There are non instructional operations and operational instructions, which needs to be followed without fail.
  • The driver is to be in control of the situation after the occurrence of a breakdown, so he needs to be calm. The situation has to be judged quickly followed by prompt action.
  • The bus has to be stopped along with the ignition turned off.
  • The position of the bus should be moved to a safer location from the main road or where there is traffic.
  • In case of a fire, the students have to be evacuated safely to a better place. Always keep the students in a group. If it's any other case, it's always safer for the passengers to remain inside the bus
  • If anyone is injured, do call for an ambulance and provide the person with the necessary support until help arrives.
  • The exact location of the bus, bus number has to be informed to the concerned authorities
  • Immediately arrange for another bus in the case of a breakdown for ensuring the safe passage of the students and the staff inside.
  • A traffic enforcement agency must be notified if any expensive damages have been made.

There are a set of safety procedures to be strictly followed by the driver in case of a breakdown. Listed below are few of those.

  • Every school bus driver should be equipped with a communication device or a GPS enabled mobile handset from which the whereabouts should be known to the authorities when something out of the ordinary happens. The device should be kept in operating condition at all the times. The device has to be properly tested before starting each trip to ensure its faultlessness.
  • Each and every driver should be given a safety manual with all information related to the safety and welfare of students involved. The supervisor has to ensure that the driver reads and understands the information in the manual and how it is to be used.
  • Student helpers have to be assigned and they should be given front seats appropriate for their age.
  • The bus should be stopped by the handbrake or the parking brake on the dashboard always
  • The engine has to be shut off by turning off the ignition.
  • The driver should be able to take the decision as to whether or not to evacuate the bus in case of a danger.
  • The bus has to be steered to a safe area.
  • Understanding and efficiently using the fire extinguisher if needed to save a life.
  • Proper surveys need to be done for the bus safety and the routes which are being traversed by the bus daily.
  • The safety compliance has to be done with safety departments and the drivers need to be pre vetted with police certificate and health verifications before he or she is admitted to the job
  • Maintain a booklet containing the traffic rules and regulations and a copy shall be distributed to each and every driver
  • Strictly prohibit the usage of tobacco and alcoholic beverages by the drivers

Drills & Evacuation

The following procedures are to be incorporated at the time of an evacuation

  • The bus has to be stopped off the road apart from the traffic area
  • Emergency flasher lights and immediately issue orders as to which exit is to be used.
  • The students should be asked to keep calm and be careful while the evacuation is done.
  • The students have to be formed into a group away from the location of the bus and traffic. The students are to be accounted. Evacuation of disabled students should be ensured.
  • The driver has to stay close to the bus until help arrives, also assistance should be provided to the students to get into the backup bus.
  • The bus should be towed or repaired with the help of a mechanic.

Bus breakdowns are always common and these occur without a notice. Prevention is always better than cure, but in these cases the necessary steps that follow need to be taken care of after the occurrence of the breakdown.

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