Tag Archives: school bus safety

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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Common Guidelines for the Location and Design of School Bus Stops

Millions of school children travel to and from schools on a daily basis in school buses during a school year. The safety of students is a matter of high concern for both school authorities and parents.

This post provides some information on the common guidelines related to the location and design of stops for buses run by various schools.

Guidelines for Deciding the Location of School Bus Stops

The first step is definitely deciding the routes for the school bus. Once the routes have been finalized, the next step is to decide the location of each school bus stop along these routes, taking into consideration the various aspects that have been listed below:

  • Special guidelines required for  kindergarten  children like picking them up from their door-steps
  • Choosing the location of school bus stops on the key arterial roads of the city or town
  • Transportation in danger zones marked as "no transport zone"
  • Locating stops in dead-end streets
  • Locating stops at places midway between residential blocks or at corners
  • Closeness to railroad crossings
  • Adequate visibility

There is an intimate link between school bus routes and stops. This is because the characteristics of one impact the other.

For example, a route may have a busy road segment and a stop may have to be necessarily located in this segment. Students waiting at bus stop will definitely have to deal with the heavy traffic on the segment.

Keeping in mind the street-side things like the condition of the road from where the students board and alight school bus and ensuring a safe environment for children, consider the following aspects whenever possible.

  • Route school buses through roads with lower traffic speeds and volumes
  • Avoid roads with multiple lanes where the risk of injury for pedestrians is very high
  • Select roads that have sidewalks/designated pedestrian walkways which are different from the roadway/traffic; if this is not possible select roads with adequate space so that children can walk along the roadway and reach the stop
  • Avoid/limit the stops that necessitate the school buses to make a left/right turn along the route depending on whether right hand or left-hand driving is practiced
  • Avoid stops that necessitate backing up; if backing up cannot be avoided, make sure that the students are picked up before backing and during the return trip the children should be dropped off only after backing up so that the bus can be driven in the forward direction
  • Avoid railroad crossings as much as possible; if it is not possible to do that ensure the presence of signage and crossing arm protection
  • Select stops that have a high level of visibility for both drivers and pedestrians; the sight distance should be sufficient for both the students waiting at the stop and bus drivers

When it comes to the sight distance, some of the factors that have an impact are:

  • Sunrise/sunset times – It is better to avoid locating stops in such a way that the buses are forced to face into the sun at pick-up/drop-off times
  • Curves
  • Trees and vegetation

Guidelines for Designing School Bus Stops

When designing school bus stops some of the key aspects to be kept in mind are as follows:

  • Opt for the safest areas where students can wait for and get into and off of the school bus
  • Choose “near-side” stops as much as possible
  • Design should minimize the need for crossing the road to board or after alighting from the bus; as much as possible the need to cross multi-lane roads must be minimized
  • Ensure adequate lighting is available; if children have to wait during hours when the light is low, the school bus stop must be close to a street light/ other light sources as much as possible
  • Ensure adequate waiting space for both students and parents; the waiting place must be at least 12 feet away from the bus but the bus class and sight distance should be kept in mind
  • Consider the environment around the school bus stop; parks and commercial businesses both have their own benefits and drawbacks; they may confer safety as drivers might expect the presence of pedestrians in the areas but they can distract children
  • Design school bus stops in such a way that the children remain protected from vagaries of nature weather

On the basis of the geographical region, some of the aspects to be kept in mind are:

  • Design stops in such a way that shade is available without sacrificing visibility
  • Avoid areas that will reduce the visibility/access because of changes in weather conditions
  • Avoid snow drift areas that reduce the visibility of the bus or access to the school bus
  • Take into consideration the number of children that have to be picked up from a school bus stop; the presence of many students might confer safety, but it can increase the chances of behavioural problems

The common guidelines outlined in this post are focused on preventing traffic-related injuries to students using the school bus to travel to and from their schools. Students, just like all other community members, face risks of assault and other crimes.

Many of the other non-traffic issues addressed by transportation policies such as proximity to bars, liquor stores, and adult entertainment, among others are not dealt with in this post.

However, following the guidelines when designing and locating school bus stops can greatly improve the safety and security of school children.

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How Safe Is Your School Bus ?

How safe is your school bus is a question that comes to everybody’s mind at the start of each school year. This can be attributed to the several high-profile school bus accidents that have taken place in the past.

According to safety administration authority, the safest way of transporting children to and from the school is the school bus. In fact, a school bus is considered to be seven times safer compared to traveling either by car or van.

Bus Safety

Time and again people have raised the issue that school buses are not provided with seat belts to ensure the safety of children. On the other hand, seat belts have been compulsory for passenger cars ever since 1968. However, experts in the filed opine that they are not required on school buses.

According to them, seat belts have a key role to play in ensuring the safety of passengers in cars, but the design of school buses is different and a unique kind of a restraint system on buses works extremely well.

On the other hand, the small school buses are to be equipped with lap and/or lap plus shoulder belts at all of the specified seating positions.

This is because the weights and sizes of smaller school buses and vans are closer to that of passenger cars and mini trucks, it is essential to provide seat belts to ensure the safety of the occupants.

In addition, the chances of students getting to school safely are nearly 70 times higher when they take a school bus instead of commuting by car.

This is because school buses have to comply with a lot of regulatory stipulations compared to other vehicles that ply on the roads. Moreover, they are designed to provide a higher level of safety than other passenger vehicles and prevent crashes and injuries. Further, the stop-arm laws protect students from other motorists.

Another aspect is that school buses are designed in such a way that they ensure high levels of visibility. Other safety aspects include flashing red lights, protective seating, rollover protection, high crush standards, and cross-view mirrors in addition to stop-sign arms.

The school students are also further protected by law. The law prevents drivers from passing a school bus when students are being dropped off or picked up, irrespective of the direction from which he/she is approaching.

Bus Stop Safety

It is not riding the bus that poses the greatest risk to the school students. The risk is higher when approaching or leaving the bus. Prior to going back to school or starting school for the very first time, the parents and children must have a clear idea of the traffic safety rules.

Parents must teach their children to follow all road rules and safe practices so that waiting for school bus at bus stops becomes safer for them. 

Children must reach the bus stop from where they board their school bus at least 5 minutes prior to the scheduled arrival time of the bus. Parents can visit the school bus stop and show the children where they wait to safely board the bus.

Children should wait at least six feet or three giant steps away from the curb. Children should also be told clearly that they should not run around or play when waiting for the school bus.

When it comes to boarding or getting down from the school bus, children should be taught to be patient, until the door gets opened, and the driver announces that they can board or get down at the bus stop.

Children should also be taught to hold the handrails so that they don’t fall down while boarding or alighting from the bus.

Children should never be allowed to walk behind the school bus. If a child has to cross the street to board the bus, he/she should be trained to walk on the sidewalk or along the street on the side to a point which is at least 10 feet or 5 giant steps in front of the school bus prior to crossing the street.

It is also important that children make an eye contact with the school bus driver prior to crossing the street in order to make sure that the driver has seen him/her. At times children might drop a book or a ball near their school bus but they should never try to pick them up.

This is because the driver may not be able to see them. The safest thing to do in such a situation is to inform the bus driver.

On their part, school bus drivers can take care of a few things to make school bus travel safer for children. When backing the bus out of driveways or leaving garages, they must keep a watch on children that are bicycling or walking to school.

The same rule applies when driving the bus around the neighbourhoods within school zones. Drivers should watch out for children walking or cycling to school.

It pays to slow down the bus and watch out for children that are walking on the street, especially if the neighbourhood does not have any sidewalks.

They should also be aware of children congregating and playing near school bus stops. Drivers should also be vigilant as children that arrive late might run on to the street unaware of the traffic.

In addition, drivers must be aware of the school bus laws in their state and obey them. This includes the use of the flashing light signal system for alerting motorists.

Flashing yellow lights indicate that the school bus is going to stop either to enable the children to board the bus or alight from the bus. This is a warning for the other motorists to either slow down or prepare for stopping their vehicles.

When the red lights are flashing and the stop arm is extended, other motorists understand that the school bus has been stopped for children to either get into or get off the bus.

Motorists will immediately stop their vehicles and continue to wait until the driver puts off the flashing red lights and withdraws the extended stop-arm.

The school bus starts moving even before other motorists start driving their vehicles again. Further, refresher training courses are available for school bus drivers to ensure the safety of children during the school year.

It is not an easy decision for parents to allow their children to travel to and from school on the school bus. However, it is important that they keep in mind the fact that, even without seat belts, a school bus that operates as per regulations is the safest option for school children.

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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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15 School Bus Safety Ideas You Can Share With Everyone

Safety begins at home. All in an attempt for everyone concerned to ensure that students reach their destination safe and sound, parents should play a major role.

They should do their bit in educating kids about safety rules that need to be followed by their wards. Additionally, life with its uncertainties in the form of an unforeseen eventuality caused by an errant motorist may cause a road accident involving a school bus.

For the sake of informing everyone about the safety parameters concerning school buses plying on roads, here are 15 safety tips that are categorized under the heads of those meant for parents and those that are given out to motorists on the road.

Firstly, let us look at the 8-fold safety tips that parents should teach their school-going kids so as to ensure that every school trip is safe. These pointers should then be made public for everyone to pay heed and implement.

Tip 1 : A Yellow Signal Indicates That the Bus is About to Halt: It is the prime responsibility of the parents to educate their wards about the safety signals of school buses. One such explanation concerns the flashing of yellow lights on a school bus. Parents should teach their kids that blinking yellow lights indicate that the bus is preparing to halt.

Tip 2 : Escort Young Kids to Their School Bus Stops: Parents of young kids should always escort them to the pickup points and wait for their return at their designated drop points.

Tip3 : Give Clear Drop Point Instructions to Kids: Elder kids who need not always be accompanied to bus stops should be informed about the safest route to reach home. Parents should insist that their kids who get dropped at their bus stop should either head straight to their doorstep or to the normal after-school destination they are ordained to reach.

Tip 4 : Caregivers to Step In, Filling In for Parents: In the event parents have a change of plan with regard to picking up their kids from the school bus stop, they should keep the caregiver informed about the new plan. Caregivers should then ensure that these kids are not left stranded on the road after getting dropped from their school bus. 

Tip 5 : Educate Kids about School Bus Safety Rules: Information is strength. In line with this adage, it is the duty of parents to educate their wards about the school bus safety rules. One important pointer that should be brought to the notice of kids is to avoid picking anything that has fallen down when they are boarding the bus. They should let their kids know that informing the bus driver about the fallen object can avoid accidents.

Tip 6 : Patience – A Virtue That Should Be Inculcated in Kids: Kids should be taught to patiently wait for the driver’s instruction to board the bus. Kids should wait for the driver’s instruction to cross the street and should avoid hurrying away from the bus after the bus comes to a halt at a drop point. Additionally, they should also be instructed to move away from the danger zone and to wait for the bus in a safe corner, away from the street.

Tip 7 : Better to Be Safe Than to Be Sorry: Parents should keep a watchful eye on what their kids wear and carry to school. In addition to avoide loosely hanging straps that can get caught to the doors, seats or handrails, school bags with strings not tied up should be avoided at all times.

Tip 8 : Good Conduct While Travelling in a School Bus: Parents should teach their kids that they should demonstrate a disciplined conduct while on board. In addition, they should din it in the minds of kids that misbehaving while travelling can lead to accidents. Distracting the attention of school bus drivers can lead to an unsafe environment, causing harm to all the students on board. Kids should also be taught to respect the instructions given out by the school bus driver with a belief that rules are meant for the safety of every student travelling.

Tip 9: Heeding to the Instructions of the School Bus Driver: Obedience is another trait that should be inculcated in kids, early on. While parents teach kids to obey their teachers  in class, they should also teach them to be obedient towards the school bus driver.  Secondly, Let us now move to the 6 safety tips that should be followed by motorists and proclaimed to everyone.

Tip 10: Rules are meant to be Followed: Motorists should always follow the rules specified by the government. The law  states that motorists should be watchful about school buses and should stop when they see a school bus either picking or dropping kids at their respective locations.

Tip 11: Keep An Eye on the School Bus Signals: Motorists should always look for the stop arm and red lights that flash when the school bus halts. These two signals suggest that they should completely halt their vehicles without seeing them as “proceed with caution” indicators.

Tip 12 : Safety Instructions to Vehicles Plying alongside School Buses: These safety tips are meant for vehicles which are plying on a divided roadway sharing the road with a school bus.

Tip 13 : Shed Light on the Consequences of Errant Drivers: People residing in rural areas should be educated about the seriousness of impatient or preoccupied drivers. Such drivers who do not spare a thought about school buses can injure the kids who are either boarding or alighting the school bus.

Tip 14 : The Significance of a Stop Signal: Motorists should bear in mind that a school bus stop signal is non-negotiable. Going against such a signal attracts a traffic ticket which can be avoided if they keep their eyes open to school bus signals.

Tip 15: Safety Instructions for Drivers and Pedestrians: It is not only for pedestrians to follow traffic rules. Drivers should also take care of  pedestrian traffic rules. All those riders who are in close range of the school bus stops and the school premises should be very vigilent at all times. They should completely halt their vehicles when they see a school bus either picking up or dropping students.

Closing Thoughts:

All the above-mentioned school bus safety tips should periodically be reviewed thoroughly. Once these tips are made public to everyone concerned about the security of school students, safety will be ensured.

In this way, every school bus trip will become a safe ride for kids to enjoy and for parents to be rest-assured. In addition to stay safe while boarding the bus, kids should be taught to maintain seating discipline and follow instructions of how to get down the bus.

Motorists who make their presence felt on roads are also expected to be watchful about school buses plying with many students.

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20 Ways to Introduce School Bus Safety

School buses are the safest mode of transportation for students to travel to and from their schools. The safety of school buses starts with recruiting qualified drivers and offering them the required training on traffic regulations and on handling the buses safely. School districts should make them understand their responsibility in transporting the school students safely to and from their schools.

Drivers also play an important role in ensuring school bus safety. So while choosing school bus driver, you must be very careful and selective. This is the most vital factor that every school district is supposed to consider while focusing on their school bus safety.

Here are the other 20 ways that a school management can focus on improving the safety of their school buses.

1. Speed Restriction

The transportation division of every school should instruct their drivers not to drive their school bus beyond the specified speed limit. This can be monitored easily by installing a GPS tracking system on their school buses.

2. Unoccupied back seats

If possible, the last two seat rows at the back of the bus can be made empty. This will keep kids free of wounds due to back collisions.

3. Three-Bus Rule

This means that the bus attendant should allow three students at a time for boarding their buses. This practice is particularly important at traffic-prone bus stops. This is because kids are more susceptible to be wounded while getting in and getting out of bus in these areas.

5. Signal

School bus drivers are supposed to signal school kids when the time is safe and suitable for them to cross the road while boarding their buses. Parents should also educate their kids on crossing the road safety.

6. Turning Techniques

School administration should educate their drivers on handling their buses safely during the bends to avoid kids falling down from their seats. This will also prevent the bus from knocking down the oncoming vehicles.

7. Clean floor

School districts should emphasize their bus drivers to keep the floor of the bus clean. This will prevent kids from skidding and being wounded.

8. Seating

Both bus attendants and drivers should ensure that the school kids are appropriately seated. This means that they should check that no part of the kids’ body is projecting the seating aisle.

9. Safe bus stops

School bus drivers have to take utmost care in bus stops where no cars or other vehicles are parked. This can be hazardous not only for students but also for drivers.

10. Distraction

The maximum safety of school bus mainly counts on continuing focused and staying away from disruptions. If students come across any problems in the bus, the driver should first resolve those problems to avoid unnecessary distractions while driving the bus.

12. Safety rules

Communicating the school bus regulations with kids, particularly new occupants, is the key to preserve an organized, safe setting on and around the school bus.

13. School bus backing

School bus drivers should take utmost care while backing their buses. If necessary, they should examine the road in front for any condition that might cause them to back. This can avoid accidental clash with the vehicle standing behind their school bus.

14. Escorting kids

School bus students are more susceptible when they are outside the bus, mostly when they have to cross the road. In such cases, school bus attendants or drivers should escort kids across the road to ensure safety.

15. Driver responsibility

Drivers should drive their school buses with the maximum responsibility. They should communicate with their transport manager whenever there are changes in the road or bus stops. 

16. Tipping the drivers

School administrators are supposed to offer useful and helpful tips to their drivers every morning on driving their buses safely. This will remind them about overall school bus safety.

17. Bullying

Bullying is one of the things happens in the school bus. This is because school kids are more vulnerable to bullying when they are in the bus rather than outside. So, to avoid these, school districts should educate bus staff on how to handle these situations in a well manner.

18. Bus check

Both the attendants and drivers should check their school bus whether any kid is still inside the bus after the completion of trip. Therefore, the best way to avoid this problem is marking attendance of kids when they enter and exit their bus.

19. Safety Vests

School management should instruct the school bus drivers and attendants to wear the reflective security vests. This will allow them to perk up protection in school bus lots.

20. Evacuation training

School administration should offer necessary training to their school bus students on the way to evacuate their school buses if any untoward incident happens. This is important for the elementary level students.

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10 School Bus Safety Tips for Parents [Infographic]

Children may get excited while seeing the school bus. Being over excited may cause dangerous things such as turning around, running around and being careless while getting on and off the bus.

Most of the people place their kids and faith in a bus as it is large and slow. This doesn’t mean that the risk of accident will decrease and it is not only the responsibility of the school bus drivers alone to ensure safety.

Parent and children also have an important role in this. So, it is vital for the parents to teach their kids some safety protocols so that kids can experience a safer ride in the school bus.

Considering all these things, we are showcasing few safety tips in the form of infographic which can reduce the chance of getting injured as well as lessen the fear of parent regarding their child’s safety.

10 School Bus Safety Tips for Parents infographic

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How to Manage Bad Behaviour on the School Bus

Student behavior is onerous to manage and will risk the lives of other school bus passengers. However, the responsibility of school bus safety is in the hands of drivers. Henceforth, they should be able to curb that undesirable behavior on the school bus.

Let's have a glimpse of the issues of unacceptable behavior in detail:

How Coarse Behavior Affect the School Bus Safety?

Of course, school bus drivers have an immense responsibility towards the safety of students. Hence, students should not be permitted to play, clamor, or pace once the school bus is mobile.

Why?

This will distract drivers and cause accidents or injuries to students and other road users.

As a responsible school bus driver, you should be able to maintain proper discipline among students and thereby reduce the accident risk. Consequently, you can memorize the following safety points:

  • Heed the school bus driving and aware of the oncoming dangers on the road
  • Remember, you will be the prime authority inside a school bus and hence maintain a proper school bus behavior among students

When an adverse circumstance occurs, consider the practice mentioned below:

  • Steer the bus to the roadside and stop if necessary. It is wise to proceed whenever an argument or scuffle is happening on the school bus. Presumably, it will result in adverse effects, such as devastation, injury, or even mortality
  • Stop the bus and provide rigid instructions to unruly students
  • If necessary, the driver can sternly construe safety quotations and affirm the outcome of coarse behavior on the school bus

Reinforcing the Rules of Conduct

By enforcing the safety procedure, you will be able to evade the unruly behavior of students. As a matter of fact, students should realize the relevance of rules and oblige it willingly.

Furthermore, students should be aware of the fact that rules are contrived for their own safety. As a driver, you can commit the following actions if you witness a student violating rules:

  • First and foremost, stop the school bus to the road side
  • Secondly, intercede promptly
  • Identify the rule-breaker and convince the fact that he/she threatened the safety of whole students in the school bus
  • Admonish the lawbreaker, which attributes warning to other students

Rapport with the School Management

As mentioned earlier, a school bus driver is the supreme authority on the school bus. But, you will never bear responsibility alone.

Meanwhile, there is a school management that supports your decisions and provides guidance to your trip. Creating a school bus safety team can be a brilliant notion.

For instance, the team comprises the school principal, counsellors, psychologists, teachers, teaching staffs, and coaches.

In fact, this team can regulate school bus safety predicaments and constitute reasonable decision for the school transportation services. Hence, the school bus drivers can seek the assistance of the safety team and thus control the school bus violation effectively.

Necessity of Early Intervention

Strangely enough, a majority of students become aggressive almost unexpectedly. Hence, whenever you spot a student with such a weird transformation, recognize, and resolve it hastily.

Here follows the procedures that can be attempted for settling the concerns mentioned above:

  • Communicate with the student and identify what’s bothering them. Nevertheless, realize the fact that children will never share their personal issues to an outsider
  • Have an acquaintance with the distressed student's close friends and recognize the dilemma
  • If you confirm or notices the hassle, report instantly to the relevant authority

Administrative Support for School Bus Drivers

It is wise to collaborate with the administrative team. No doubt, with the administrative support, you can provide punishment to students justly.

Whenever a particular student violates the rule, you can punish them according to the decision of the administrative team. 

Hence, the other students realize the consequences of violating rules, whoever the student is, and consequently follow safety rules without further hesitation.

Installation of Video Surveillance Cameras on the School Bus

  • Authorities can install cameras on the school bus
  • Can be utilized as a tool in disciplinary meetings for students and circulate it as a training material for other drivers
  • Cameras provide an awareness regarding the essential safety rules and the way it is violated by the students
  • Students should recognize that cameras will provide sufficient evidence to those who violate the safety rules and cannot escape from its consequences
  • Footage displays the date and time by which violation took place and thus trapping the agitator completely

Planning Ahead to Prevent Future Problems

  • Treat students with care and respect in the bus and involve them in establishing guidelines in bus and to solve issues that happen in the bus.
  • Communicate with the driver regarding their concerns and ask the students directly to solve it.
  • Include students in discussions regarding safety guidelines, issues, bus driver responsibilities and invite brainstorming for solutions to each concern.

In conclusion, students should be taught that a school bus is the extension of the classroom. And henceforth, the proper school bus discipline should also be maintained accordingly.

Moreover, it is the responsibility of everyone to safeguard the students and the technology can provide an immense assistance to this concern.

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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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11 Awesome Technologies Used in Modern School Buses

 

School bus safety is an important topic and there have been debates and discussions over the topic so as to make the school bus journey a safe affair for students. Most schools seek the aid of technology to ensure that their students are safe throughout the journey from home to school and back to home.

With advancement in school bus tracker technologies technology, more and more ideas have come up to handle various aspects of school bus safety.

Here is a list of 11 such school bus tracker technologies used in school buses, at present:

RFID Trackers

This technology has been implemented in most schools in the past few years for ensuring student safety. Radio Frequency Identification Device (RFID) trackers help in student tracking. They provide real-time information regarding the students to parents and school authorities. Students can have the RFID tags attached to their student ID cards. They have to swipe the RFID cards in the card reader attached to the school bus, once they board the bus and when they get down. Every time the students swipe the cards, notifications will be sent via phone to the parents and school authorities. Many parents think that RFID tags invade privacy of students. But, it is a myth. Tracking happens only until the students swipe their cards before they get down the bus, just to ensure that they had a safe journey.

School bus tracker

They utilize RFID and GPS tracking to provide real time information regarding school bus locations.  Parents are notified 10 minutes prior to the school bus reaches the scheduled bus stop. Once the student boards the bus, the parents and school authorities are further notified about the journey of the bus. Apart from student safety, reports on speed of the bus, unscheduled bus stops, fuel consumption etc. can also be generated using school bus tracker. All these information can help in judging the performance of the school bus drivers and also in cutting costs in terms of labour and fuel.

Cameras

This technology is meant to keep school bus violators at bay. Sometimes, when a school bus is stopped at a particular bus stop, other vehicles have a tendency to enter the school bus danger zones, thus creating accidents. The latest victim to one such accident is Michael Burgess, an 11 year old from USA. He was boarding onto his school bus in the morning when an over speeding car hit him. The technology involving cameras were introduced to put an end to the issue. Little cameras that are installed into school buses get activated when the bus stops. In case any vehicle passes by, the cameras capture the number plate numbers.

Student Behaviour Tracking System

Bullying in schools is not just confined to classrooms. It can occur in school buses as well. Therefore, it is necessary to keep track of student behaviour in school buses. A student behaviour tracking system can help you with that. This is usually a web communication tool that can help in identifying, analysing, responding to and resolving all sorts of incidents related to student misconduct.  The student behaviour tracking system can help drivers and administrators to communicate with parents and students so that they can work together to keep control of the students and ensure that they are safe.

Wi-Fi

Usually, it is students who are teenagers, are usually into bullying and creating all kinds of ruckus in a school. As a solution to the problem, many schools have come up with the idea of allotting Wi-Fi in school buses to keep the students occupied. Now, since most schools are integrating technology to schools, students may have a tablet or a laptop with them. Students can utilize the Wi-Fi in the bus productively to complete their homework or for leisure like playing games.  Since student stay involved, they will not have a chance to create unwanted problems in the school bus.

Spouts in Front of Tires

This technology comes handy in places that experience harsh winters. The spouts located in front of the school bus tires can drop sand onto the icy roads. Also, if the roads are really not worth travelling, the buses automatically put chains on the tires.

Digital Cameras

By using the modern digital cameras, you will be able to capture audio as well as video, know exactly the happenings inside a school bus, and keep drivers' attention on the road. Consequently, students' mischief, bullying, disciplinary issues of students, and safety issues can be handled properly with useful evidences.

Computerised Diagnostics

Computerised diagnostics is a useful technology available today. It helps you identify the issues in a vehicle easily and determine the need for vehicle repairs. The problems related to RPM (Revolution Per Minute) levels of the vehicle engine, damages of indicator lights, fuel injectors, improper functioning of oil tanks, transmission issues, gas tank issues, repair of exhaust systems, etc.

Automatic Door Entry System

Most of the modern buses are having automatic doors with push buttons, which is used by drivers to open and close the school bus doors. With the automatic door system, drivers are able to avoid fatigue, shoulder pains, etc.

Air-Cushioned Seats

With the introduction of air-cushioned seats, students and drivers are able to have a safe and comfortable journey. Such seats are useful, especially for drivers as they are able to have finer driving position and lumbar support than earlier.

Mirror Grid Systems

This is a valuable technology as drivers are able to have better vision of the area around the school bus. With the electric grids feature behind the mirrors, the school bus drivers can overcome cold weather conditions. As the grid gets heated, any frozen precipitate or objects will be removed from the mirror, providing a better mirror view for drivers.

Smaller Engines

Just like computer chips, engines are also undergoing massive transformation. When the engines become smaller, its front part becomes shorter. And hence, drivers can see the surroundings well and manage the bus efficiently.

Keeping updated with technology is the best measure a school can take to provide safety to its students. However, it is not necessary that technology can only be utilized in schools to deal with student safety. Technology can also help schools in other aspects of the education field, thus cutting down unwanted costs and maintaining their reputation.

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