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13 Features of a School Bus With State-Of-The-Art Safety System

All those parents who sign up for school bus transportation will agree with the fact that school buses come in as the safest means of commute for their kids. If you compare it with either riding your private vehicle or going by walk to school, the former alternatives pose threats to student safety.

It is for a simple reason that school buses come equipped with state-of-the-art safety systems. Hence, you as parents will be buying peace of mind with every school bus ride.

For all those people who are extremely concerned about the safety of children, below is the rundown of all the features of a school bus which is secured with the benefits of a modern safety system.

A closer look at all these features will reinforce the common belief that it is always better to be safe than to be sorry and school buses are the best alternatives.

The following are the striking features of a school bus fitted with state-of-the-art safety mechanisms.

1. GPS Systems

Parents and school administrators can now operate with the numerous advantages offered by a high-definition GPS system. With this system in place, you will be in a position to pinpoint the exact location of a school bus.

With a simple tap on your mobile app, you will also get to know the running speed of your school bus.

Offering the dual benefits of convenience and security, the GPS location is a vital information for both parents and school administrators.

2. RFID Tags

A major safety drawback is when students are left alone to wait for the school bus at their designated pickup point. This situation can be avoided through the RFID tags.

These tags enable parents to know the exact location of their kid and once the kid boards the bus, parents receive a notification on their smartphones. That is when parents can have a sigh of relief that their kid is now in the safe hands.

3. Indicators

School buses come fitted with extended stop arms and flashing lights. These are safety systems that help motorists to maneuver their vehicles while the children are boarding or alighting a school bus.

4. Emergency Exits

Life is uncertain and you never know when an unforeseen eventuality can throw your peace out of gear. It is for this reason that school buses should clearly mention emergency exits.

5. A Child Check Alarm

Many a time, school bus drivers forget to drop off sleeping children. To ward off such  instances, school buses can rely on an electronic alarm. This alarm prompts the driver to walk up to the rear of the bus to check for any kids who missed their drop points as they fell asleep.

6. A Bus-Empty Sign

Similar to the child check alarm, a bus empty sign is another noteworthy safety mechanism that is designed to prevent leaving an unattended kid on the bus.

This display sign hangs from the rear window after the driver walks through the bus to identify any unattended student and finds none.

7. Safety Seating

Modern school buses which go by the rule that the safety of their students is paramount will invest in comfortable and safe seats. Along with raised backrests, these sturdy school bus seats offer strong padding. Through these measures, you can ensure that your kids travel seated in well-anchored and protective seats.

8. Seat Belts

When every seat comes attached with a seat belt, you are securing the safety of your kids. It is hence a wise move to make the installation and use of seat belts mandatory for school buses so that kids are secured in their seats while travelling or at the time of a collision.

9. Specialized Systems for Preschoolers

When it comes to ensuring the safety of preschoolers and students with special abilities, it is the need of the hour to offer specialized restraint systems.

Along with equipping school buses with wheelchair locks and car seats, you can also hire an assistant onboard who will keep a watchful eye on the needs of such kids. Additionally, it is good for preschoolers and differently-abled kids to be transported via smaller school buses.

10. Regular Maintenance to Fleet

It is always better to be safe than to be sorry, especially with kids who are commuting via school buses. It is for this reason, the school bus-in-charge should conduct periodic preventive maintenance inspections.

When school buses are thoroughly inspected by certified mechanics, you will be adhering to stringent safety protocols meant for the overall safety of your students.

11. Concept of Compartmentalization

A noted measure to protect school buses against crashes comes in the form of compartmentalization. For the simple fact that school buses are heavier and larger when compared to private vehicles, compartmentalization steps in as a noteworthy feature. Through this safety concept, school buses experience a different treatment being given to collision forces when compared to how a strong impact damages passenger cars or other private vehicles.

12. School Bus Safety Consumables 

School buses should always be prepared for any sort of eventuality. It is for this reason that every school bus comes with a first-aid box. It is also very important for buses to have fire extinguishers.

13. The Yellow Color Says It All

All in an attempt to attract the attention of pedestrians and bikers on roads, the bright yellow color of school buses does the trick.

Increasing the visibility of people on the road, this yellow color helps motorists take notice of a school bus. This bright color is easily noticeable paving the way for the safety of school students plying via school buses.

Closing Thoughts

School bus fleets which are equipped with the above-mentioned modern safety mechanisms stand to gain when they guarantee the security of school students. While some assist the drivers to keep track of unattended children, others are meant to bestow peace of mind to parents and caretakers.

All these state-of-the-art safety systems together make school buses the safest means of transportation. It is hence the need of the hour for school districts to look into these safety measures and implement them on their fleets so as to completely avoid the instances of students getting hurt, unattended or stranded on the road.

 

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10 Ways that Helps to Keep Students Safe on the School Bus

 

Today, you can frequently witness school bus accidents. With increased global threats on child safety, safe and secure commutation has become the first priority for parents, especially, while choosing the right school for the kids. Meanwhile, a little vigilance and awareness among the school bus staff and students can assist to achieve this with ease.

The following tips will assist you to ensure the safety of students while on the school bus.

1. Maintain Proper Manners

Ordinarily, every social situation needs you to follow a certain etiquette, the school buses also possess a few. Listen and follow the instructions of the driver and the caretaker every time. The majority of students tend to cling on to the earphones listening their favourite music as soon as they board the bus. 

Listening to music is not unacceptable as such, but not listening to the driver’s instruction due to being clinging on to music on headphones.

Don’t yell or shriek inside the bus. Consequently, this can distract the driver and can lead to accidents.  Bullying should also be avoided strictly. If you happen to witness such incidents in the school bus, it is wise to promptly report it to the authorities. 

2. Safety Rules First

Once you enter the bus, find a seat and sit down comfortably. Don’t try to do stunts or performances while on the bus. Follow the general instructions of school bus safety to place your arms and head inside.

When the bus is moving, remember to sit straight in your seats and keep the feet on the floor. If the school bus is having provisions for seat belts, strap them up. Wait for the bus to stop completely before descending the bus.

3. Dress properly

Don’t anticipate otherwise. This is not a concern on morality or dress codes. Simply avoid dresses and backpacks with needless drawstrings chains, toggles, etc., which will be tangled with the bus handrails and can lead to accidents. Furthermore, be vigilant while entering the bus in case they do not remain hooked on the doors. 

4. Educate staff and students

School bus safety instructions, rules and regulations need to be taught even from a young age. Also, it would be ideal to teach the staff on safety rules and specific protocols that schools have formulated for enhancing school transportation safety.

A monthly check of the vehicles and surprise inspection on board can also maintain the vigil  throughout the year. Staff compliance with school bus safety procedures/rules can also be monitored regularly.

5. Install GPS tracking device 

A GPS vehicle tracking device provides enough assistance to locate the vehicle on a real time basis. Installation of the vehicle tracking system has been made mandatory by several school authorities and the governments worldwide.

Installing the GPS vehicle tracking device not only ensures the school bus safety procedures of the students, but also supports the authorities and school bus staff to seek emergency assistance promptly. The school management can also assure the parents about school bus safety of children.

6. Provide RFID tags for children

While the GPS technology ensures the safety and security of students and the school bus as a whole, RFID tags recognize the individual whereabouts. RFID tracker installed in a school bus can send SMS/mail/push notification once the students enter/exit the bus.

This can be valuable, especially, since the individual whereabouts of the children can be notified to parents instantly and effortlessly. Nevertheless, RFID enabled identity cards can be distributed to school students for enhanced safety. 

7. Educate Students about Safe Driving

Distracted driving can cause accidents. It can be a scenario that children make unnecessary noise in the moving bus which can lead to a disturbance for the drivers.

This can affect their driving which can lead to mishaps. So, it is necessary to teach children about safe driving and what can cause if the driving gets distracted.

8. Seat Belts

There are some controversies over how much safe are seat belts for children in school bus. It can reduce danger to some extent. However, if your school bus is dealing with more number of special need or troubled students then these kinds of extra safety restraints are worthy.

9. Internal Cameras

Installing cameras inside the school bus can play a vital role in student safety inside the school bus. These cameras help to monitor not only the activities of children but also the behaviour of the driver inside the bus and while driving.

10. Stay Away from Danger Zones

When creating routes for the school bus trip, be careful, vigilant and take some time to find out areas of your district where you don’t want to take your students. There are often such areas where drug activities or such kind of activities are taking place. So, while creating the route, you can safeguard your students by avoiding those areas.

 

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Driver Tips to Control Violence on School Buses

 

Children are always naughty and they become wild once they are accompanied with their pals. Just imagine a destination where everything becomes favourable for them. A school bus is certainly the ideal location for your child to unleash their mischief. There is comparatively less monitoring inside the school bus and hence, they utilize this freedom to the maximum.

But is there any way to curb their violence on the school bus? A school bus driver is the only one who can seriously initiate an effort on it. They can easily recognise the mischievous behaviour of each student before any parent or teacher.

Here follows certain school bus driver tips that assists you to control violence on the school buses:

  • Gain assistance of a bus monitor to identify and report children's problems which helps you manage the school bus properly and comfortably. Thus, violence can be prevented in the first place
  • Ensure that you are one of the members of the school bus safety planning program. This gives you an opportunity to inform others concerning the possible risks and behavioural issues faced in a school bus ride. School authorities never ignore your speculations on ensuring student safety as you have greater experience with school bus transportation than anyone
  • At first, go through appropriate training to understand student behavior, their poise, and body language. For example, clenched fists indicate that the child is angry or in a raging state and crouched stance is a preparation taken by them before running or dashing forth. At situations, you can immediately inform school management or transportation officials without much delay
  • Seek the permission of school bus fleet management authorities to assign front seats for the annoying students or the students who displays problem behavior. As a result of this special allotment, you will be able to attribute first class scrutiny on those students
  • Park the school bus to a safe area and tell other students to stay away from the combatants. If possible, calm the combatants by ordering them to stop fighting. But never leave your seat or move to the fighting area as it can be a mere students' ploy
  • Suppose, a student is holding a weapon in his or her hands, never provoke him or her and risk the safety of other students. Remain calm, never panic, and be watchful. Once you have a chance, park the school bus, call the dispatch or police officials, and handle the situation wisely, without acting as a hero by trying to disarm the student
  • If an intruder attempts to enter the school bus, never allow him to enter the school bus. For instance, hijackers may create paradoxical situations to mislead you such as faking an accident, calling for help, etc. Never give an opportunity to persuade or trap you

Is driver training enough?

Certainly, driver training is essential to ensure proper safety and security for school bus riders. But there are other resources that avoids violence in the school transportation environment. Do you have a presumption about it? A school bus management software helps the school transportation management to plan the routes in such a way that it avoids criminal presence or drug hot spots. Thanks to the technological innovation, as you are able to integrate threat zone database with the routing software, which keeps you up-to-date on new risks. 

With the school bus GPS Tracking system, you can track the real-time location of each student and consequently, identify their wrong doings. In addition, parents and relevant authorities will instantly know whenever a driver deviates from the scheduled route, obtain information on the Expected Time of Arrival (ETA) of the school bus, and student tracking information. 

Above all driver tips can be useful for managing the school bus effectively. The reputation of a school rests in a school bus. Hence, ironically, it is the driver's duty to maintain school bus discipline and protect the credibility of the public on school transportation services.

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