Tag Archives: School Bus Safety Precautions

Sex Offenders On School Buses

Sexual offenses are of different types. Rape, child molestation and sexual abuse are the most common. Rapists commit rape, child molesters sexually abuse minors and sexual abuse is forceful sexual contact.

Student-Safety

Sex offenders use different modus operandi to lure or abduct their victims. Children are innocent and are unable to comprehend a predator’s actions.

Read Also: How School Bus Drivers Can Protect Special Needs Students From Getting Bullied

Sex offenders can be found on the school buses and off the school buses at bus-stops and near schools.

 

Sex offenders on school buses

Sex offenders manage to get on the school buses mainly when it has been parked at locations or when the driver leaves the bus unattended for a short while. This happens mostly when the children go out on field trips or school picnics.

sex offenders on school bus

Sex offenders, mainly interested in molesting children, pry open the doors of the bus or simply walk in. They hide behind the bus where the driver’s visibility is low. It is horrifying for all to find an offender amidst a bunch of students.

It is now mandatory that the drivers do a walk-through of the bus while entering or exiting a bus. This ensures that no one has entered and that the seats are empty. He has to do a front- to- back check of the bus before he lets the children in.

In some cases, the sex offender steals a school bus and drives it along the route found in the bus. This happens when the keys are left on the bus. Bus drivers have to take extra care to see that the keys are off the bus and the windows and doors are locked before he leaves the bus.

 

Sex offenders off school buses

School bus stops are normally decided upon by taking into consideration parental demands as well as traffic regulations. The potential hazard mostly overlooked is the proximity of the bus stops to sex offender’s homes.

sex offenders on school bus

It is dangerous to have children wait unsupervised near homes of habitual offenders with a past history of sexual abuse. Sexual predators stalk and abduct children. Locating stops at such places are causes for trouble.

School districts while charting the routes and fixing stops do not always succeed in steering clear of sex offender proximity. But they do heed to parental concerns and shift the stops as per their request.

 

Pre-cautions

A register with the police provide a list of sex offenders in a particular area.  School districts can access them before fixing stops. These lists are available to transportation personnel and the public.

Several states publish data online with details of name, street address and photo and even criminal history of the sex offender.  They are categorized as low, medium and high risk offenders. Medium and high-risk offenders are those who have committed violent crimes or who repeat offenses.

School officials are entitled to view this list. Parents and community members can access this list. It would be advisable to consult all parties concerned before a stop is fixed or moved. This will help in reducing potential danger to the children.

As the parent it would be advisable to do a pre-emptive check on the neighborhood for any sex offenders residing there. All registered offenders do not pose a threat as they may not be involved with children. It would be pertinent to be constantly aware of them and to not instigate a problem with them.

Parents have to chaperone their children to the bus-stop however inconvenient it may be. Chaperoning duties can be shared among parents of children using the same bus stop.

Even if the bus stop is moved from the vicinity of a sex offender he will still be in the neighborhood. Hence it would be wise to escort the child to the bus stop daily to ward off any unwanted situations.

Read Also: How School Bus Drivers Can Help Protect Disabled Children

School districts are to be notified by parents of any danger to their child’s safety. If alerted promptly the bus stops can be moved.

Each school district being different, the policy on sex offenders differ. It is best the parents update themselves and be aware of the policies.

Software used in school bus routing and scheduling have functions that alert the user when the bus stop is close to that of a registered offender. The application treats the student similar to that living on a hazardous road and creates a bus stop in front of the student’s residence.

Educating children, parents and community members about the possible predatory behavior of child molesters is essential. Distributing pamphlets, information, public announcements to parents, students, teachers, school staff, the care givers can create awareness of the potential problems. Persons who are frequently in touch with children should be wary and pay attention to any such individuals.

Educating the young students about the threats they may face from the apparently friendly strangers and known persons is necessary. Children of all ages have to be educated on unnatural behavior in an age-appropriate manner that they can comprehend.

 

Punishment

Sexual conduct against a child, predatory sexual assault, stalking a child, using a child in sexual acts, distributing indecent material to children, luring a child, aggravated assault on a child and persistent sexual abuse are crimes of sexual exploitation.

The maximum penalty for these crimes against children is 15 years of imprisonment and the minimum sentence is probation depending on the crime. 

If the sex offender is a driver, they are permanently disqualified or banned for 5 years depending on the severity of the action.

Behavioral aspects

To detect sex offenders who are not registered is not easy. They skillfully manipulate the child, family and community with kindness and charm.  His behavior is attributed to normal adult-child relations. His deviant intentions go unnoticed.

The sex offender gains access to the vulnerable child, gains the child’s trust, and assures the child’s secrecy to avoid disclosure. He will try to isolate the child from the rest.

sex offenders on school bus

Child molesters seek jobs that bring them into contact with children. They come as teachers, bus drivers, coaches or even counselors. In professional capacities the molester has access to the child alone after school hours or on field trips.

square-banner-new-1

The chances of convicted sex offenders repeating an offense cannot be gauged accurately. Professionals dealing with them admit that a good number of them do re-offend. 

Read Also: ​How to Prevent the Threat of School Bus Hijacking

Adult sex offenders are found unlikely to change in behavior even with counseling and help. Experts say that most of the offenders repeat if not given professional help.

No amount of technology can completely protect children from harmful situations. School and parents have to work together to offer protection to the children.

What To Do When A School Bus Catches Fire

Bus transportation is considered as one of the safest modes of transit for students. But, a fire resulting from a collision or failure of a component puts lives at risk and can have an enormous impact on operational costs as well.

There are diverse reasons that can cause fire in a school bus – due to mechanical failures, wires got loose and rub against engine parts, overload of circuit boards, explosion of tires or even leaks that release inflammatory fluids.

Read Also: 10 School Bus Pre-Trip Inspection Checklist

In most cases, school bus fires start in the engine area, running gear, or wheel area of the vehicle. Studies analyze that the most frequent cause of ignition was failure of equipment or heat source.

Along with transporting students safe to and from school, school bus drivers and attendees may have to handle even certain emergency situations such as a bus crash, accident or fire.

square-banner-new-1

In such a situation, they are responsible to supervise all students and follow procedures for the appropriate release of students

According to the U.S. government statistics, on an average – 379 school bus fires happen each year, though deaths are rare from such fire incidents.

Drivers in school bus must be well trained by the school district board to take immediate action, if they doubt any smoke or fire in any portion of the bus or even if the bus is near an existing fire and they are unable to move the bus away.

In such a scenario, take quick actions such as

  • Stop the bus in a safe area
  • Vacate the bus
  • Call Bus Dispatch number
  • Use fire extinguisher

Evacuate the bus

Organize students for a transfer to another school bus. School bus fire evacuation drills and training is important for drivers to rescue students from a burning bus.

Such drills can also help students to stay prepared in safely escaping from the bus. Students will be able to know when and how to evacuate as well as the relevance of evacuating in an orderly way.

Read Also: School Bus Transportation Security – 18 Practices to Follow

To evacuate the bus, drivers should –

  • Call for bus dispatch, shut off motor, set brake and remove key
  • Decide the right evacuation route, which ever you think is appropriate – let that be exit door, front or side doors, roof hatch or even windows.
  • Ensure that the attendees are helping students to get off safely and assemble everyone together
  • In case of time shortage, instruct students to leave their bags and other personal belongings on the bus and make sure that everyone has left
  • Leave the bus only after all the students leave and remember to take your cell phone as well as the first aid kit
  • Follow the correct student release procedures and do not re-enter the bus until recommended by the authorities
  • Follow correct transfer procedures, in case if you are transferring students to another bus. Ask them to move to that bus in an orderly manner, drivers should stay alert until the transfer is complete.
  • Designate older students to help the young ones in evacuation

Use fire suppression systems

Fire suppression systems can help to extinguish fire immediately. Such advanced systems release a mist or powder to extinguish the fire, when the temperature reaches a certain level.

Installation and testing of such fire suppression systems in engine compartments is now getting mandatory in buses as well as coaches.

These systems –

  • Provide extra time for students with disabilities to leave the bus
  • Can put out fire for rear-engine buses, even before driver might be aware of the incident

Maintenance staff and supervisors should also undergo thorough training during installation of such systems.

Read Also: School Bus Drivers Training – 10 Tips For City Driving

School districts can take certain steps to prevent such incidents such as replacing old buses with new ones, either by purchasing them or by getting benefits from a lease program.

Drivers should be recommended to inspect their school buses daily before every trip, check for leaks and make sure that all exit doors open perfectly, making the bus ready for any such emergency situations.

10 School Bus Pre-Trip Inspection Checklist

Unlike other transportation fleets, school buses have an enlightening purpose that demands special care; for it is the wagon that the future of our kind travels every day.

So, it’s a crime to look at it recklessly. School buses are more of a classroom than a wagon, where pupils learn the rules of the roads lively as well. So, it is essential to keep it on the lines of rules all around.

Fortunately, our rules and regulations are very concerned about our young growing generation. The rigorous set of laws and practices could instill the importance of keeping the school buses fit and flair all the way.

Read Also: School Bus Drivers Training – 10 Tips For City Driving

As the teamwork ofmolded machines and parts, every vehicle will get wear and tear over time, no different are school buses. So, it is necessary to inspect the vehicles as many times as possible. Specifically, before heading for a trip with the children.

 Since we cannot forecast the condition and the life of machine parts, either we have to dare to meet any trials across the way,or we have to make sure our vehicle is fit enough for any terrain. Sadly, we cannot go with the former in the case of school buses.

Hence, a thorough pre-trip inspection can assure that the school bus is working and ensure a smooth and comfy journey for the kids all the way.

Improve-reputation-of-your-school-Bus-Service

Notably, it is the drivers who are the responsible hands for taking care of all about the wagons, and there is some list of factors that we have to check before a trip.

So, let’s check what the pre-trip inspection checklists for school bus are.

1. Body Inspection

There are chances of slack connections and broken shields and window panes, scratchy bumpers and shaded lamps, blurry paint on our school bus. Giving a glance across the body of the bus will help us to figure out the visible damages, dents,scratch on it.

Body inspection spans all the way around the bus including, the glossy mirrors, grills, window panes, tires, lamps, wipers, shields, wheel nuts, reflectors and whatever visible to our naked eye.

Moreover, it enables us to catch out any part that is not working properly. Just remember we cannot leave out anything at least.

2. Engine Check

It is more likely a full heart check-up, so it takes time and patience. The engine consists of numerous parts, so it needs an in-depth analysis to figure out issues hiding inside.

The whistling valves, tubes, wires, chamber, seals, caps, lube tanks, engine chamber, filters, plugs, radiator, battery, pistons, spark plugs, timing gears, conveyor, shafts, etc. involves in an engine check.

So, any of it hesitate to work with the others in abruptly, the whole system stop working. Moreover, there are many forms of issues that can arise in an engine.

Leaking oils, broken seals, settled grits, blocked vents are some of the common persistent problems occurs on the engine. Hence, we have to spare some moments to understand the exact issues going on the engine.

Plus, we have to have a conventional understanding of the variations about the sounds, vibrations, and unusual precipitations to find the problems intact.

3. Light and horn

Lightsare critical elements in school buses since it has to take cuts and turns more often. So, it is essential to look over the lights, indicators and tail lamps thoroughly. If it requires any repair or replacement, we have to point out it to the mechanic immediately.

The list of lights in a school bus is a bit higher than the common wagons, and each one in it shall maintain accurately. The connections, brightness, wiring also have to take into inspection before every trip.

The same actions have to be followed humbly on the horns as well. Importantly, we have to check the capacity of the battery, for these parts are relying on the battery vastly. Any unusualbehaviors should repair immediately before the journey.

4. Gears and pedals

When the engine propels the pistons and shafts vigorously,and the gears, levers,andpedals failed to transport it to wheels, everything goes in vain. Hence, the prominence of gears and pedals are not less to any other parts.

To avoid unexpected troubles during the trips, we have to inspect the gears, brake, and clutch and accelerate pedals regularly and have to repair and maintain it accurately. Remember always, “Prevention is better than cure.”

5. Lubrication

Lubrications are like a kind of unavoidable catalyst in vehicles machine operation. Probably, the drivers know how the wagons crave for it when they run short of lubricationeverytime. Hence, for the proper functioning of machine parts and longer life of vehicles, it is essential far and wide.

So, we have to check all parts that require ample amount of lubrication across the vehicle. Primarily, for the moving pedals, rotating joints, and shafts, steeringcolumns,and attachments, etc.

Read Also: How School Bus Drivers Can Help Protect Disabled Children

Moreover, the lubricants that we use for the buses also matter to tap the efficiency of vehicles. So, always keep an eye over the parts and thevarieties of oils we chose to apply.

6. Emergency and Safety Equipment’s

The safety of school bus is an imperative factor of concern. Since we cannot foretell the things ahead in our roads, every school bus must equip with all safety and emergency measures to handle any situation seamlessly. Also, the driver and other vehicle staffs have to train to operate the equipmentquite well either.

Before every trip, checking the emergency and safety kit is a worthy practice. The fire extinguishers, first aid box, warning hazard triangles, spare parts, and emergency exit door and other essential safety measures that are acting up irregular and suspicious have to be replaced appropriately.

7. Meters and Gauges

Meters and Gauges are vital counterparts in all vehicles. The fuel levels, temperature, pressure, and speed are measured by the meters and gauges that are fixed on the driver panel. Hence, it is necessary to keep it up for conscious driving.

Any defect on it can cause massive misconceptions and disrupt the safe driving. So, always remember to check the working of meters and gauges accurately. Also, carryout the recommended repair/replacement timely.

8. Wheels

These tubular synthesized rubber rolls have a prominent role in running a vehicle. Wheels are the strong legs that help the vehicles run, walk and stand still.

Hence, a defect on it can bring big troubles on a trip. The air pressure level, thread thickness, disk condition, lug nuts are the factors that has to be looked over every day. Also, wheels and tires need to replace at proper intervals for a seamless drive.

9. Brake System

Inspecting brake involves various steps. For that, we have to take multiple testing rides as well. The oil, brake chamber, pedal, air lines, seals are few of them. The chances of brake system get into defect is more high, since it is the bridle of our gigantic wagon.

School-Transport-Software--Ensure-enhanced-student-safety

Thus, we have to ensure that the brake system is fit enough to control the bus all around. Regardless of the climate, terrain it could control the vehicle all around.

10. Documents and papers

Vehicle documents including insurance policies, registration and permits, test results, driver license,and other eligibility docs are to be updated as it expires. Over every trip, we have to check the documents twice to assure all papers are valid to the data.

Therefore, inevitableis the pre-trip inspection on school buses. To ensure a safe and secure trip for the children we have to pay our diligent attention throughout the school buses. From the number ofplates to the exhaust pipe, all the standards and recommendations have to adhere.

Read Also: School Bus Driver Safety – How Technology Can Play a Role

There are numerous factors still remaining for our attention in school buses.  However, we have covered almost every vital point to look over for a pre-trip inspection. Following these tips can help you keep unnecessary troubles far away from your fleets on the roads.

Wish you a safe trip.

Why School Bus is the Safest Mode of Transportation

School buses are the safest means of transportation for students to get to school and back. Millions of children all around the world start and end their day with a trip on a school bus. Safety of the children on these trips is of utmost concern to both the school authorities as well as parents.

Children get to school by walking, bicycling or parents drop them or by school bus.

Comparison studies with other modes of transport conclude that school buses are seven times safer than average family cars. Studies have calculated student injury and death rates per mile and per trip. Risks of each mode of transportation have been analyzed. 

The highest number of accidents and deaths were recorded where teen drivers were involved.Studies showed that the fatality rate of travelling in a vehicle driven by a teenager was 44 times more than riding on a school bus.

The second most dangerous form of transport was bicycling where serious head injuries were caused mainly because of not wearing helmets. School buses accounted for minimal accidents and student death rates.

The sheer size of the bus, its vibrant yellow color, and additional safety features like seat-belts, stop signs, big mirrors and flashing lights ensure that students are in safe hands while travelling by the school bus.

PARENT-APP-BANNER

School Bus – Safety Features

The special safety features of a school bus as compared to normal passenger buses include both physical and technological changes. Some of them are listed below.

  • School buses worldwide are painted a bright yellow color for better visibility. The yellow color is visible even in bad weather conditions. It helps the other drivers and pedestrians to recognize the school bus and take extra caution when near them.
  • School buses are larger and heavier than normal passenger buses. The buses have a height which is above the top of any car. This reduces the effect of any impact on passengers due to accidents.
  • The first step into the bus is designed to be low and retractable. This helps the students to alight the bus with ease and reduces accidental falls.
  • Anti-skid flooring is provided in the buses to avoid slipping during wet weather conditions.
  • Strap handles are provided along the rail overhead for extra grip while moving inside the bus.
  • The buses are provided with stop arms that signal the traffic to come to a halt. This is an indication that students are either getting on or off the bus. Flashlights too are provided to alert the traffic  at the stop.
  • Individual seat belts are provided on all school buses to keep children safe. In large buses these days the seats are constructed in a way that seat belts are not required.
    This is called compartmentalization. Seats are structured like compartments which bend forward on impact. The bus seats are higher, thicker and wider. Metal surfaces are covered with padding. They are designed to absorb force in the event of a crash, thereby protecting the children.
  • First-aid kits are provided in the buses to take care of emergencies.
  • Speed governors are installed in school buses to limit the speed within a prescribed range. Theyact as a check on the driver, preventing him from over-speeding. Low speeds further reduce the likelihood of casualties in the event of a crash.
  • The GPS (Global Positioning System) in the school buses enables the driver to stay on the safest route. This is of immense help to the parents in knowing where and when the bus has reached. The school too is updated on the progress of the school bus on the designated route.
  • The RFID system installed on the school bus records the entry and exit of the students on the bus. The parents and school get a real-time update of where their wards are, whether they have boarded or departed from the bus. The school authorities can keep track of any missing student.
  • Video cameras are installed in the bus to monitor the behavior of students while riding. Speaker systems in the buses are used by the driver or school authorities to inform the students of any impending danger or traffic anomalies.
  • School bus drivers are hired meticulously to meet higher standards of consistency and safety as compared to other passenger vehicle drivers.  
    They are well experienced and mature personnel. They attend safety and first aid training workshops. Periodic medical check-ups are mandatory for drivers.
  • Schools conduct evacuation drills for students who use the school buses at least twice a year. Students are taught to identify emergency exits and how to open them.

Advantages:

A big school bus normally accommodates 45-50 students. This ensures a large number of cars off the road which in turn reduces pollution and traffic congestion. The new buses are fitted with the latest emission control engines which adhere to the concept of a green environment.

Breakdown of the school bus will be the responsibility of the school. They will arrange for repairs or a replacement bus so that the students can arrive in school on time.

The GPS and RFID systems help in alleviating parental stress to a large extent.

Limitations:

Like in any form of transportation, accidents are inevitable on school buses too. Children can be injured when riding the bus, getting on or off the bus, or even when standing near the bus.

Accidents while on the bus are caused due to crashes with other vehicles. These types of accidents are minimal. Considering the size of the bus, the injuries caused to students in the buses are normally confined to minor sprains, bruises, scratches, etc.

Reports and studies have shown that most accidents occur while getting off the buses. This happens when the students do not follow the rules while alighting, when they are hit by the school bus itself, or when other motorists fail to observe traffic rules.

Though compartmentalized seats provide protection in the eventof a collision, children can still be tossed around during an accident, causing injuries. Commonly, injuries are caused to the head, neck and shoulders when an accident occurs.

Seat belts do not guarantee total protection. Enforcing the use of seat belts is difficult. They require high maintenance in order to keep them clean and in good working condition. They need to be adjusted for each child. Smaller children may also require chest or lap harnesses.

School-Transport-Software--Ensure-enhanced-student-safety

Conclusion

School buses are the perfect fit for students to enjoy a safe and comfortable journey from and to the school. Statistics show that a child is 70 times more likely to get to school safely when taking the school bus rather than when travelling in a car.

The student death rate is less than 1% of the total traffic fatalities. This is because the school buses are designed to be safer than other vehicles.

Children also need to be responsible enough to stay alert and aware of their surroundings to prevent accidents and injuries.Schools urge parents to teach their children to follow the safety rules and to maintain discipline while riding a bus.

 

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.

SCHOOL-TRANSPORRT-APP

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.

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.

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.