Tag Archives: School Bus Safety Precautions

15 Must-have Safety Features On A School Bus

The school bus is perhaps the safest vehicle that your child can travel in to and from school. According to statistics, students that take the school bus are about 70 times more likely to reach the school safely than other vehicles to get to the school.

The school bus is endowed with a number of safety features as a result of cooperation between the industry and the government. In addition to these, traffic laws are strictly enforced and school bus drivers are well trained.

School buses are loaded with many safety features. Here we are pointing out 15 of them.

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1: High degree of visibility

School buses are designed to have a high degree of visibility. They are painted bright yellow in colour and have flashing lights. This is done so that both pedestrians and motorists notice the vehicle among other vehicles in the road.

Extended stop arms appear when the school buses stop. This notifies other drivers that children are either boarding the bus or alighting from it.

2: GPS systems with advanced features

High-definition GPS systems on school buses help the driver by indicating the exact speed, locations, etc. These help the drivers to stay within the set speed limits, stick to the laid-out route and avoid hazards of different kinds.

3: Anchored seating for the children

Bus seats in school buses are specially designed and are well anchored in their places. The seats have extra padding to avoid injuries. The seats also have a high back and are designed not to shake out of their places in the event of any jarring movements caused by a collision or a crash.

4: Child Check-Mate System

As little children are prone to falling asleep suddenly, the Child Check-Mate is an electronic reminder system that is installed on board to remind the drivers to check the bus and see if there are children that have slept off and not got down at the designated bus stops.

5: Compartmentalization Design

The design of a school bus is different from that of other vehicles such as cars and other light motor vehicles. They use the compartmentalization design wherein the forces that are generated due to an impact or crash spread in a very different fashion from that in other mentioned vehicles.

These buses feature seats that are closely spaced and seat backs designed to absorb energy. These design aspects help to keep the children safe.

6: Safety features in small buses

Preschool children and children with special needs are carried in smaller buses to schools. These buses are generally fitted with car seats and have specially designed child restraint systems on the seats.

In such buses, children need to be fastened with seat belts or shoulder or lap belts because of partial compartmentalization.

7: CCTV inside buses

CCTV placed inside the buses help to prevent accidents and other untoward incidents. It also helps to reconstruct events after an incident has happened. Constant real-time monitoring of video helps to prevent bad behaviour of students, attendants and drivers.

8: Placement of mirrors on the school bus

Mirrors should be properly placed on the school bus to enable the driver to see other motorists, objects and students near the bus and inside the bus.

The mirrors should be placed and adjusted in compliance with motor vehicle safety standards set for the purpose. The seven mirrors recommended for use in the school bus are:

•    Top-left glass mirror

•    Left convex mirror

•    Right convex mirror

•    Left cross-view mirror

•    Right cross-view mirror

•    Top Right flat glass mirror

•    Rear-view mirror (Interior)

: Colour of a school bus

Most of the school buses are painted in such way that it is visible and other road users must be able to recognize among other vehicles. This decreases the possibility of accidents due to poor visibility.

10: Fire extinguisher installation

School bus fires can happen due to many reasons and can have dreadful consequences. There must be a fire suppression system installed in the bus to extinguish the fire if it happens.

The probability of occurrence of fires in the bus can be reduced with regular inspection and timely maintenance of the vehicle. Any bus with a mechanical or electrical problem should be kept off the road.

Fire suppression systems let off an alarm when the temperature reaches a specific high value. Thereafter the system releases a mist or powder that extinguishes the fire. Heat sensors can also be installed to indicate any rise in temperatures above specific levels.

11: Regular first-aid box inside the bus

Every school bus must have a  first-aid box  inside the bus. This would come in handy when there is an accident or untoward injury caused to the occupants of the bus.

12: Windows and horizontal bars

The windows of a school bus should be fitted with horizontal bars. This would prevent the students from putting their heads, hands or any other objects out of the window thus preventing accidents and injuries.

13: Emergency exits

There should be more than one emergency exit installed in a school bus for the safety of the children in case they have to be evacuated from the bus.

There is a monitor system for the emergency exit that provides both an audio and a visual signal to the driver when the emergency exit is opened.

14: Locks for school bus doors

The doors of a school bus should be securely locked when in motion. The locks should be ones from reliable manufacturers and should conform to safety standards.

15: Lettering on the bus

The words “School Bus” must be painted on the front and back of the bus. The size of the letters and colouring must conform to safety standards. In addition, the name and telephone number of the bus must be written on the body of the bus.

Conclusion

Just as it has done in the last many years, the government works closely with school bus manufacturers to implement new safety features in school buses so that everyone concerned is vigilant and consider safety on the road as a continuously evolving issue.

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How to Avoid School Bus Accidents

The statistics are unnerving: with over 25 million children travelling to school by the school bus every single day, there are many deaths that occur due to school bus accidents.

In all of these, it has been estimated that over 10% of all the deaths were school children, drivers and passengers. These are more than enough to make us learn ways using which we can avoid school bus accidents and keep our children safe.

A school bus accident is one that involves a school bus vehicle body or the body of any other bus functioning as a school bus. Almost every parent agrees to the fact that transportation of children to and from the school is safer in the school bus than in a car. However, it is up to every school driver to bear in mind that the school bus shares the road with other types of vehicles.

In this article, we have gleaned some precious tips that will help to prevent school bus accidents.

When the school bus is carrying the children, follow these tips:

•    When there are children in the school bus, always maintain  distance from the moving vehicle in the front. The driver should be left with plenty of time when the brake lights of the vehicle on the front start to flash. Flashing yellow lights indicate that the bus is preparing to stop. This gives an opportunity for the drivers behind to slow down.

•    If the yellow or red lights of a school bus carrying children start to flash, and when the driver extends the stop arm, all the traffic behind must come to a stop.

•    In case you are on a road that is not divided, do not pass a bus, from either direction, which has stopped to load or unload children.

•    It is a good idea for every driver near a school bus to be extra alert as one cannot predict the behaviour of children. Drivers of all vehicles near schools should be aware of the lowered speed limits.

There have been many cases where children lost their lives in bus-related accidents when walking on the roads.  Majority of these children are very young, between 4 and 7 years of age. Many a time, they are hit by motorists that are illegally passing a school bus that has stopped to pick up or drop off the students. Otherwise, they are hit by the bus.

Given below are some precautions that will help to keep the children safe.

•    Ensure that your vehicle does not block the crosswalk. This forces children to move around your vehicle when they want to cross the road. This could put them in the midst of moving traffic.

•    When your vehicle is in the ‘school zone’, and flashers are blinking, check all cars nearby are stopped and allow pedestrians to cross the roads.

•    Always make sure that you stop the vehicle whenever a traffic policeman or a school patrol guard holds up a ‘Stop’ sign.

•    Look out for children whenever your vehicle crosses playgrounds and parks or school areas.

Rules for School Bus Students

Some of the rules that we have seen are for the vehicle drivers and school children who are walking. There are also some rules that should be followed by the students on the bus to minimize school bus accidents.

•    Board and alight from the bus in an orderly fashion.

•    Be seated when the bus is moving.

•    Keep head, arms and legs inside the bus throughout the journey at all times.

•    Ensure that you are seated with your feet placed on the floor and facing forward.

•    Keep the aisle area free.

•    Do not distract the bus driver at any cost.

•    Make use of the handrail while boarding and de-boarding the bus.

•    Maintain a minimum distance while waiting for the bus at bus stop.

•    Enter the bus only after it has completely halted to a stop.

•    After alighting from the bus, walk for a distance of at least 10 feet before attempting to cross the road.

•    No student should cross the road from behind the bus.

•    You should cross the road only after receiving driver’s signal.

•    You should be educated about the safety of the school bus.

These rules are to be followed when new school bus drivers are appointed.

•    The school bus driver should be in possession of a commercial driver’s license. He should have an accident-free clean personal driving record. He should also come out free of a drug screening procedure.

•    The driver should be a friendly person and capable of maintaining good communication.

•    School bus drivers are expected to eat healthy, take time off when sick and get enough rest on a daily basis. They should completely understand the bad effects of sleep deprivation.

School Bus Maintenance

•    As far as the school bus is concerned, the upkeep and safety of the vehicle are paramount. It is utmost important to stick to the rules as far as maintenance schedules are concerned.

•    Drivers should inspect the buses on a daily basis and the vehicle should receive mechanical maintenance.

•    The bus should undergo a preventative check-up before a long-distance trip.

Bus Routes

Bus routes should be planned in such a way that they travel through roads that have lower speed limits and have a lot of pedestrian space. Streets that are overcrowded or those that have poor visibility should be avoided.

Construction of the School Bus

•    Ensure that the bus has safe handrails.

•    The schools should not use non-conforming vans to transport children to and from schools.

•    The bus should not be too noisy such that it is a distraction for the driver.  There should be no speaker placed adjacent to the driver’s heads.

Conclusion

The driver, helpers, and the public at large should be watchful and vigilant at all times. There is no room for any complacency whatsoever. Only this can help to control school bus accidents.

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School Bus Safety Precautions a Bus Driver should Take

 

Safety is the motto of school bus transportation. Millions of children travel by school bus and to keep them all safe is the responsibility of school bus drivers. For keeping the children safe and at the same time stick to the schedule, drivers should take certain precautions.

Want to know some school bus safety precautions for school bus drivers? Here are some special safety precautions a bus driver should take:

  • Ensure that doors are safely closed before starting the school bus and are not in locked condition
  • Never allow any child to stand in a way that hinders your vision to the front, side, or rears
  • Do not permit an unauthorised person to sit in the driver's seat, or operate the school bus
  • Make sure that no child place their belongings in the aisles of the school bus
  • Check whether the vehicle engine of a school bus is in off condition, gear is in neutral, and the ignition key is removed, before leaving the bus
  • When a school bus gets damaged and require lights, make sure that flares or reflectors is placed 30 meters in front and behind the bus
  • While loading and unloading students, ensure that the bus is secure by checking around and underneath the school bus
  • Before moving the bus, make sure that students get down the bus in a safe location
  • Be cautious while approaching a railway crossing
  • Stay calm and act promptly
  • Be professional, loyal and sincere at all times
  • Carry out pre-trip inspection routinely
  • Provide guidance to students regarding emergency school bus evacuation procedures
  • Be stern about school bus discipline and at the same time show a pleasant attitude to the students

Distracted Driving: A Threat to School Bus Safety

School Bus Safety Precautions

Be positive

One of the most important things to remember is to be positive while driving a vehicle like a school bus. This positive attitude can help the driver to handle the emergency situations properly. When you are in an aggressive mood, you will naturally be unable to make swift and accurate decisions. And hence, it can be risky for occupants in the school bus. 

If you can't control your mood and temper, then it can lead to serious accidents. In addition to this, school bus drivers should have adequate knowledge of revised traffic rules and regulations.

Any driver can claim that they are transporting the most precious cargo to and from school. But a skilled and professional school bus driver takes adequate safety precautions, receive proper training, and have an awareness on renewed safety rules and regulations.

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