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21Sep2017

Tips to Load and Unload Students Safely on School Buses

 

Why is the school bus transportation risky? When you ask the similar question to a school bus driver, there is a chance of obtaining only one answer- loading and unloading children. Is it dangerous? Yes, it can be, especially, when it is concerned with the transportation of the world's precious cargo. Let's check it out.

“Danger Zone”

Actually, what is a danger zone? It is the loading and unloading area of a school bus. During the past few years, there have been revolutionary changes in the design and structure of a school bus for the purpose of enhancing school bus safety. And the newly designed buses have done justice to student safety. As per federal safety standards, 8-lamp warning system and stop arm signal is equipped in all the new school buses.

Today, several schools provide awareness on loading and unloading procedures along with their school bus driver training. 

Recommended tips for safe loading and unloading of students

Activate warning flasher system at least 100 feet before stopping the school bus

Be extra conscious while approaching the loading zone. Instruct the students to wait patiently in a queue safely back from the roadway. Also, teach them the  consequences of rushing while they board the bus

Stop the school bus 10 feet or 15 feet away from the students before loading them and tell them to board the bus only when you provide proper indication regarding it

Ensure that the vehicle is in neutral condition and apply the parking brake before loading or unloading children

Confirm that traffic is less in both the directions while loading or unloading the children

Wait until the student safely crosses the street and guide them with appropriate signs. You can exhibit the hand signals to other drivers so that the child can cross the street effortlessly

Be aware of students loading and unloading the bus. And if possible, count the number of students. Never move the bus if there is a suspicious situation

You can either display a warning signal or apply the horn, suppose a vehicle does not stop while a child is boarding or disembarking the school bus. And ensure that students are able to understand these warning signals and follow the safety procedures recommended by you like moving back from the road or stop descending the bus

Load and unload children only from the assigned stops, inform the authorities if there is any relocation

Never unload children just before taking a right turn, perform it after taking the turn

Do not allow a child to cross the street from behind a school bus

Check the side mirrors for students and traffic, before leaving the bus stop

Before starting the school bus, ensure that the students who descend the bus are at a safe distance and is properly seated

Ensure that students follow proper loading and unloading safety procedures throughout the year. Tell them regarding it, at the beginning of every academic year

Instruct the children to provide you a proper warning before picking up the dropped items underneath the bus

Check the interior of the school bus after completing the trip so that you can find out whether the student is hiding in a school bus or not, if there is any mischief done, or forgotten properties

Inspect the stops regularly and report to relevant authorities if there is an unsafe condition

Slowly load and unload children even though you are running late

Providing adequate training for loading and unloading school bus students is indeed a part of ensuring school bus safety. By closely following the above tips, students are able to enter and exit the school bus safely. 

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