Duties and Responsibilities of the Transport Manager
1. The transport manager is responsible for the transportation of school and sees that the day-to-day operations are going on without any problems.
For this, the transport manager has to monitor the operations and assure efficient performance in compliance with the regulations and according to the policies, guideline and procedures that are laid down.
The manager facilitates staff meetings in this connection and also provides direction to the bus maintenance staff.
The transport manager is in charge of inspecting the buses frequently to ensure that all the buses are in tip-top condition and safe enough to transport the students to and from the school.
4. The transport manager is in charge of setting the routes for the buses, dispatch of the buses, working out their schedule, and managing the driver.
They are also incharge of managing other members of the transport department such as staff representatives from the school, manage fuel consumption of the buses, and also development of the bus timetable.
All these are done keeping in mind the child safety that is being transported on the bus.
He should also keep them informed in case there is a new person that has assumed the role of the driver or bus attendant.
9. The role of a transport manager becomes a prominent one in times of a crisis such as an accident or emergency (such as a breakdown).
In such a case his action should be immediate so that there is no harm (or only a minimal loss) and every child reaches their home safe and sound.
The transport manager is expected to have the contact details of all the vehicles repair services of the area as well as those of doctors, nursing homes and hospitals.
10. The transport manager is in charge of coordinating with all the transport staff and the government authorities to keep the bus feet in a ready state for the annual state inspection of the vehicle fleet.
11. The Transport manager shall plan and execute the purchase of spare buses as additions to the existing fleet.
This help in handling the situation when the necessity of school bus arises.
12. The transport manager shall assist the school authorities in the development of operating procedures.
These include policies, upgrading the existing systems and their implementation and staffing changes at the departmental level.
13. The transport manager is expected to maintain safety standards in compliance with regulations for insurance requirements.
A preventative safety program has to be developed by the manager.
All insurance reports have to be completed and submitted to the authorities by the transport manager.
14. The transport manager is responsible to conduct mock evacuation and emergency drills in a timely manner.
15. It is the responsibility of the transport manager to submit a variety of reports in a timely fashion to the school authorities and government departments in compliance with policies and procedures.
All expenditures must be properly recorded allocated and accounted for.
Complaints and concerns should be recorded and all the related follow-up correspondence should be copied, saved and stored appropriately.
The number of pre-school age children traveling in cars and school buses is increasing resulting in the requirement for several child care programs.
Just as these little ones need proper security in other vehicles, they need Child Safety Restraint Systems (CSRS) in school buses as well.
The use of Child Safety Restraint Systems including car seats and seat belts has been in debate for quite some time now. If installed properly, these systems keep small children restrained in their seats.
Children must appropriately be tied to their seats so that they are comfortable and safe when traveling to and from school. Certain cars and school buses have factory installed safety restraint systems while others can get them added at a later time.
So, when and why do you think would you need to get safety restraint systems installed on your school bus or car?
Some people oppose the use of safety restraints and there are some valid reasons behind this opposition. The number one reason is injuries from improperly fastened restraints and emergency evacuations.
Furthermore, a concern has been raised with respect to the extra load that is placed on seats with restraints, thereby hampering their performance in situations of a crash.
While these concerns are of value, many districts and states are encouraging the installation of restraint systems on all school buses that transport small children.
Guidelines You Need to Know
The following section helps you to understand how you can correctly secure pre-school children with CSRS and certain other guidelines vital for their proper usage.
There are some basic rules for using CSRS and most of the school authorities make common mistakes that can later lead to accidents and mishaps.
1. The right use of CSRS depends on the child. A child weighing up to 20 lbs and 1 year of age should be rear-facing. When the child weighs over 20 lbs, he/she must be forward-facing.
This makes a lot of difference to the child’s comfort as well as their protection. Remember to go through the weight limits mentioned by the manufacturer to be sure of the correct usage.
2. Check the user manual to ensure that installation of the restraint systems is perfect.
The seat must not move for more than 1 inch when pushed sideways or forward. It should be well fastened and gripped with the vehicle’s seat.
3. The harness straps must be secured in the right slots. If it is a rear-facing restraint system, use the lower or below the shoulder slots.
If it is a forward-facing system, slots are generally at the top or above the shoulders.
The harness strap must not be left loose or twisted. It must not be tied. It must lie flat and adjusted in a manner that only one finger can be inserted between the child’s chest and the straps.
School bus drivers are bestowed with the responsibility of transporting kids to and from school in a safe and timely manner. They also take school sports teams and other groups for trips.
This means that apart from their transportation duties, there are certainly other skills that they must possess to be able to successfully perform their roles.
The job of a school bus driver is suitable for those who like driving and working with children. A passion for driving alone may not be enough to do your duties as a school bus driver to the best of your ability.
This is because working with children requires a lot of patience, a lot of responsibility, and a lot of spontaneity.
School bus drivers generally work part-time, for as long as the school is in operation. These drivers are not just vehicle operators since students consider them to be friends, parents trust them with the safety and security of their child, and school authorities expect them to maintain the school’s reputation.
While little formal education is required for this career, a school bus driver must have adequate training and a commercial driver’s license.
SCHOOL BUS DRIVER – SKILLS AND ABILITIES
School bus drivers deal with various audiences – students, parents, teachers, principals, transport authorities, and more. This makes it extremely vital for them to have proper communication skills. School bus drivers must be able to:
Listen to others and ask questions: They must know how to engage in dialogue with students. They must inquire about the child’s overall well-being, inform parents all necessary information and take charge of what is happening on the journey between school and home.
Understand spoken/written information: School bus drivers are given several instructions on a regular basis. They also receive route maps and addresses to ensure every child is dropped off at the right destination in a timely manner. If school bus drivers are unable to follow this information, they will not be able to perform their duties responsibly.
Speak clearly: School bus drivers are sometimes requested to communicate information between parents and teachers. This must be done with utmost care so that messages are well understood at both ends and there is no confusion of any kind.
2. Reason and Problem Solving
School bus drivers must be alert to notice when something is wrong or about to go wrong. For instance, if weather conditions can cause delays, they must be able to use reasoning and draw conclusions as to how time can be managed effectively.
They must focus and not get distracted while performing a particular task. They must follow instructions and arrange objects in a certain order.
If they are transporting school teams for events, they must know how the team’s equipment is to be stored so that there are no damages.
3. Bus Conduct
School bus drivers often need to perform multi-task. They need to watch the road and drive safely. At the same time, they need to monitor the conduct of students on the bus also.
Buses come with large mirrors on the front window making it easier for drivers to keep an eye on the actions of the students. School bus drivers must watch student behavior and stop any hooliganism as soon as it is noticed.
Moreover, drivers must immediately report irresponsible behavior so that necessary action is taken and harmful behavior is not repeated. Drivers must identify these students, their seats, and ensure that they sit in their allotted seats regularly.
4. Vehicle Safety
School bus drivers need to have a clear understanding of the bus’ equipment. In simple words, this refers to the regular evaluation of tires, brakes, tuning signals, and other mechanical equipment.
They must also watch gauges, dials, and other parts of the engine to ensure that the machine continues to run smoothly. School districts generally prepare a checklist that drivers need to fill after conducting basic checks on different safety items.
In case of any issues or operational troubles, the bus must be immediately sent to the workshop for repair while the school bus driver uses an alternate vehicle for transporting students.
This skill of understanding the mechanism of the machine can help school bus drivers go a long way since issues are identified early on and they do not get stuck during the course of transportation.
5. Record Maintenance
School bus drivers must maintain a regular basis log activity in different categories. This includes the number of students riding on the bus, the absentees, the distance traveled, the route stops, and the time slots.
Furthermore, drivers must record when fuel is replenished, the quantity, and the rate per liter/gallon. School authorities mostly provide private fuel stations for the use of school bus drivers. Logging in this data helps to maintain accuracy in routes.
6. Perceive and Visualize
Vision is an important parameter to evaluate the proficiency of a school bus driver. He/she must be able to quickly and accurately compare numbers, patterns, pictures, letters, or objects.
He/she must be able to read road signs, manage right routes, and avoid any kind of mishaps. A school bus driver must know one’s location and accurately judge the position and distance from other objects in a physical setting. He/she must be able to adjust the relation to self.
Working as a school bus driver requires interaction with children from all age groups and all backgrounds. You must have a lot of patience to manage different tantrums and behaviors.
A school bus driver can never get strict or violent with the children. Parents hand over children to a school bus driver with a lot of trust and confidence.
This trust must be respected. Therefore, work on your patience levels and your child-handling skills, if you wish to succeed in your career as a school bus driver.
The job of a school bus driver does not require a specific educational qualification but it does require several interpersonal skills that you need to excel at in order to be able to master at work. If you think that you can master these skills, there’s no reason you wouldn’t succeed and become the most loved bus driver at school.
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.
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
Without doubt, the safety offered by a school bus to school students cannot be compensated by any other means of transportation. But we can definitely increase the safety features of school buses by equipping them with a GPS Tracking System (which may provide students with RFID cards) and other safety measures.
Staying seated on the school bus ensures safety. The less a bus driver is distracted, the more will he concentrate on driving. Shifting seats inside the bus and moving away from the seats can cause injury to the students. Seats of the bus are arranged to make the journey safe.
There are certain tips to keep in mind while choosing the right school bus seat of the bus. Safety should be the prime consideration inside the school bus. A typical school bus consists of seats with 39 inches wide and with maximum seating capacity of 3.
Wait for the bus in the safest place. Get in to the bus without rushing forming a queue. Hold the hand rail of the bus, while getting inside the bus. Choose the right school bus seat inside the bus.
It is important to have a clear idea about, how the students should be seated. Reserving permanent seats for students is an effective method of reducing the rush inside the school bus.
It’s better to finalize the seats according to the route of the bus. Those who board the bus early and leave late can be given the last seats. Students who board the bus late and leaves early can be given front seats. Authorities must take special consideration while choosing seats for students. If any student finds the allotted seat uncomfortable, there should be a facility to report it.
The bus is generally divided in to three parts;
The front is calm but there can be noise from the engine
Middle is half noisy and half silent
The back is bumpy, without any noise of the engine
The allotted seats should be carefully noted by the children. Make sure that you be seated in the right seat. No exchanging of seats should be allowed. If there is any uncomfortable situation, it can be reported to the bus supervisor.
After finding the most comfortable seat for each student, make sure that no other student is reserved for that seat. Seat number can be allotted to children in order to eliminate confusion.
If there happens a collision of seat, there should be a second option. A bus supervisor can help with the seating arrangement of the children.
Divide between children who want to sit by the left windows or the right windows. Bags and other parcels must be kept in the lap of the students. Throwing anything out of the bus is dangerous, children must never do that.
After picking the most convenient seat, enjoy peaceful ride. Do not move away from the seat or exchange seats, while the bus is moving. Children should not eat or drink anything in the bus. After entering the bus, children must be seated properly, facing forward. Avoid putting hands and head outside the bus.
Never allow annoying people to sit next to you. It is better to make sure that a known person sits next to you. Making noise and fighting inside the bus is strictly prohibited. Always remember children misbehaving inside the bus can loose the privilege of travelling in the school bus
Safety message about the “danger zone”;
If you can touch the school bus, you are standing too close
Step out of the danger zone with 10 giant steps
Make sure, you can see the driver and the driver can see as well
Never stop to pick up anything dropped in the danger zone, ask an adult or driver for help
Ironically, assigning a particular seat for each school bus student is the best means to handle mischievous children. Also, appropriate seating for students can simplify your task by saving your valuable time.
We are happy to announce that our video for school bus tracking software have crossed 10,000 views. Missing the school bus is not a new issue for students and parents. The video explains how the tracking system helps a student who missed the school bus by chance.
Obviously, both parents and child get tensed when such a situation occurs. With our software we are able to reduce unnecessary tension and provide peace of mind to everyone.
Hawaii State has decided to install the video surveillance system on every school bus this year. The Hawaii Department of Education reported that camera installation is an addition to the GPS system in school bus for assisting school bus drivers in routing and ensuring safety.
Dann Carlson, Hawaii Department of Education (DOE) official, said that installation of camera is an important step in creating a safe environment for students. He added that this decision was not taken against students, but is an essential safety measure for student transportation.