Tag Archives: school bus safety

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.


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.



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.



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.


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.


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.


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.


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.

School Bus Technology Trends To Watch For In 2020

Technology in manufacturing school buses keeps improving and advancing each year to accommodate the increasing safety and security concerns of student transportation.

Better safety, lower costs, and simpler operations are the major reasons that drive technology to seek new methods or improvise on the existing.

Better safety, lower costs, and simpler operations are the major reasons that drive technology to seek new methods or improvise on the existing.

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

Information and computer technology has had a great influence on School transportation management systems. Innovative products have been developed to make unwieldy operations easier and to solve issues faced in student transportation.

Technology works with humans to create a secure and safer environment for students, enhance the rider and driver experience and increase the overall efficiency of operations.

Technology trends to watch for in 2020

1. Auto Routing

School buses use smart auto-routing algorithms simplifying the task of transport managers. School bus routing is challenging for transport managers as it consumes time and they have to keep an eye on school bus routes, check seat availability, etc. But auto-routing software makes the task easier. It automatically routes the path accurately. 

2. New Methods to stop Illegal Passing

One of the biggest threats facing by school buses safety is rash driving motorists. They often tend to ignore a school bus’s stop arm and speeding by while the children are entering or exiting from the bus. It can sometimes cause serious safety issues. The children are unpredictable, so other vehicles should be responsible for child safety. 

Stop-arm cameras are one option, but it is relatively expensive and cause public relation issues. So alternative method to prevent this is by adding more and bright lights is the most effective and friendly solution. 

3. Cutting-edge sensitivity

In school buses, the level of sensitivity varies as detection technology varies. The new AI-powered technology can detect even the faintest signs of movement, including even the minute signs of heartbeat and breathing. Though it was formally developed for passenger cars, this system partners with school bus telematics. Thus helping school bus drivers or fleet operators to diagnose if a child is left on board.

4. Alternative Fuels

The basic fact that the global petroleum reserves are depleting, forces one to look for alternatives. The environmental pollution and public health hazards caused due to emissions from diesel exhausts are very grave.


Prices of diesel and gasoline are extremely volatile and high. The efficiency level per gallon is low when compared to other fuels.

These factors compel a shift to electricity, CNG, propane, hydrogen, diesel-electric hybrid as fuel is envisaged in the coming years. These fuels offer better mileage. Their on-road operational costs are minimal compared to that of diesel-powered buses.

The initial cost of purchasing a new bus running on alternative fuel or retrofitting the current engine to suit alternate fuel requirements is high compared to that of diesel buses. But in the long run they prove viable with near-zero emissions and lower operational costs.

Electric school buses are considered to be the future of school bus transport. They are eco-friendly with zero emissions. They are quieter while in operation.

5. Timer-based Block Heating Mechanism

In cold countries, heating of the buses in the morning is a major issue. A smart timer attached to the block heater automatically starts the engine.

The timer is pre-programmed for the time at which the engine has to be started. This ensures that it is warm and ready when the driver arrives to start the trip.

The timer is pre-programmed for the time at which the engine has to be started. This ensures that it is warm and ready when the driver arrives to start the trip.

This cuts the cost of constant heating, which is impractical and eliminates the need to pay drivers for the extra warming hour in the morning. These timers help to save up to 80% of the costs depending on the weather conditions.

6. WiFi on buses

Wi-Fi on buses is a key factor enabling routing software and GPS tracking system to operate smoothly and effectively. Internet is a centralized device that ties together all the technological equipments aboard a bus.

Implementing Wi-Fi solutions helps in saving money and expanding the capabilities of the systems installed in the bus.

Students spend considerable time on the bus, travelling to and from school. Wi-Fi en-route will enable them to utilize their time on board productively, either studying or completing homework.

It will be helpful for students who lack proper internet access at their homes. Safe internet access with customized filters and data usage reporting ensure the students do not misuse the Wi-Fi for gaming or entertainment.

7. Student ID Cards

Bus identity cards are embedded with micro-chips. Radio frequency identification device (RFID) is used to record the place and time of entry and exit of students into the bus.

The RFID cards alert the parents informing them when their child has got on or off the bus. It updates school administrators on whether the child is on the right bus and at the right bus-stop.

8. Motion Detectors

The motion sensors detect any movement on a moving and stationary bus. Movements as slight as a child moving under a blanket can be detected. Use of these detectors will eliminate the chances of accidental child abandonment which happens when students sleep off without alighting from the buses.

General purpose Input/output (GP I/O) devices or sensors alert the drivers when the door is left open, when windows or hatches are opened, stop arm notifications work etc.

9. Live camera feed

The live feed cameras are installed inside and outside the buses. The internal cameras enable the drivers to view the students inside the moving school bus.

Read Also: 6 Ways Technology has Changed Student Transportation

Student behavior, seating, safety issues can be monitored and managed conveniently on a console in front of the driver. This aids the driver in regulating student discipline without having to leave his seat.

Live cameras are installed on stop arms which extend out when buses stop. This camera is of help to record errant drivers on the road who do not obey the stop warning.

10. Video Mirrors

Video mirrors are used to overcome the dangers arising from the blind spots that the large school buses have. Four cameras are fixed, in different directions, so as to provide the driver with a 360 degree view.

The view is automatically adjusted at turns and curves and switches to rear-view once the bus goes into reverse mode.

11. In-Wheel Alcohol detection

Habitual drinkers and intoxicated drivers are difficult to determine on sight. The new alcohol detection sensor detectsalcohol based on a driver’s skin oils. As the sensor is integrated into the steering wheel, it locks down the bus before it is on road thus preventing unsafe driving.

12. GPS Bus Routing Software Solutions

Planning and scheduling of school bus routes manually is time consuming, costly and stressful.GPS enabled bus routing software helps in faster implementation and optimization of bus routes which is the key factor in reducing operational expenses and fuel costs.

 The system creates routes based on accurate maps, determines time and distance factors on each route, detects traffic blocks and hazards on routes, monitors the mileage etc.

The individual GPS system of each bus is connected to central routing software enabling the school to keep track of every bus in the fleet, receive real-time updates on student locations and route deviations.

Auto-routing determines the routes based on bus seat capacity, number of bus-stops, students at each bus-stop using algorithms.

13. GPS tracking systems

Tracking software solutions make fleet management easier with more control of safety.

  • Trip and Student tracking systems– which can be integrated into the software will provide exact locations of the bus fleet. The precise and accurate data aids school management in taking well-informed decisions quickly saving time, cost and resources.
  • School bus attendance tracker – provides notifications to parents when their child boards or alight the bus. This tracker is extremely beneficial to the school in knowing the number of students in attendance in school on a particular day.
  • Tracking App for parents– helps them to track the bus and reach the bus stop in time. Parents concern of safety in transportation is addressed to a large extent by using this tracker app.
  • Manifest feature -This feature produces daily student passenger list, pick up details with timing, route diagram showing pick up locations. If a student has applied for leave of absence on a day, his name will not appear on the pick-up list for that particular day. This saves the time of the driver and students.
  • Geo-fencing– This App allows parents and schools to set boundaries. This restricts movement of the bus to specified areas. When a bus enters a restricted area the parents and the school receive alerts. The geo-fencing app can be used by parents to receive alerts when the school bus is nearing their wards bus-stop.

14. Driver Tablet

Drivers traditionally use paper printed instructions and maintain files pertaining to students, vehicle performance and maintenance details. Providing drivers with an in-vehicle tablet will reduce paper work.

All information can be recorded on the spot and can be retrieved by all departments concerned. This reduces the work load of drivers and school administrators.

15. Telematics

Telematics automate many of the manual and disconnected tasks. Telematics connects all the electronic equipment in the bus and transmits the entire data to the fleet manager.

It tracks fuel consumption, preventive maintenance schedules and the engine diagnostics of the bus. Telematics has the capability to make the transportation system more efficient and easier to maintain at lower costs.

Read Also: Impact of Anti-Collision Technology on School Buses

Technology has transformed the classrooms and now this transformation is being extended to school buses. Technology gives us new ways to optimize, maximize and automate the different functionsof school bus operations.  All of these technological applications strive to make school buses the best and the safest mode of transportation for students.

3 Key Benefits of Video Camera on School Bus

Video cameras are becoming a necessity in society today. Video surveillance can reduce diverse safety risks on as well as off the bus. The American School Bus Council has reported that each year school buses are transporting more than 25 million children from and to school.

Continuous monitoring can improve safety. In most cases, server inside the video records and wirelessly transfers the recordings and the data to the administrative server, which school board members can check.

Read Also: 15 Must-have Safety Features On A School Bus

Govtech.com has recently reported that school districts are adding safety cameras to its new fleets; they are now considering a four-camera system on their buses where now they have a two camera system.


The school board will be placing those two additional cameras, on the front dash that faces forward and another on the stop arm that faces backward. These cameras help to capture stop arm violations, by improving Wi-Fi capability within the district.

Here are three important benefits of video cameras on a school bus

1. Ensures student safety

By monitoring students, drivers and other staff in the bus, school districts can ensure that their students are safe during their bus journey. In school grounds students are under observation.

Video cameras can improve safety of students from the time they leave the parents to the school campus till they reach home back. But when travelling in bus, chances for bullying and other wicked happenings are more, which often go unnoticed.

Awareness of the fact that they are being observed in bus too will discourage any such acts and if it continues they will be punished. Not only school authorities, it also help drivers to watch each kid closely, thus preventing any sort of accidents.

To ensure safe off-loading and on-loading of students, most school boards are now considering stop-arm cameras that can protect students even outside the bus.

Such cameras placed on the stop arm of school buses can automatically capture stop-arm violations along with key details such as date, time and GPS location, which helps in legal enforcement review. These cameras also capture license plate numbers of violators in high-definition and can download stop-arm events automatically via Wi-Fi.

Such measures also prevent on-board deaths. Incidents were reported earlier on such issues, where kids who go asleep are left behind in their school bus, leading to consequences.

UAE school buses have installed “sleeping child check buttons”, which works via a mobile app that parents can access. This app will work even if bus supervisors fail to do their duty perfectly. Video surveillance also helps to make sure that the child still in the bus.

2. Monitors driver behavior

Video footage also helps to monitor driver’s behavior and activities. Often drivers get involved in issues such as rash driving, sudden braking, improper behavior, over speed, getting late than usual pick-ups and drop-offs and more.

Read Also: 5 Common Questions on School Bus Security Cameras

Any such activities inside and outside the bus can be easily captured with videos surveillance and school authorities can take action to prevent them. With video camera surveillance system, drivers will be careful about breaking the school bus safety rules.

3. Prevents other vehicle’s illegal passing

overtaking of vehicles are getting increased day by day, this can endanger the lives of students when they are getting in or out of the bus. Law in most countries recommends motorists to stop their vehicles when school buses are boarding students or getting them down.

Also bus drivers are recommended to stop buses completely at places like railroad crossings to ensure student’s safety. In its 2017 National Stop Arm Violation Count report, the National State Directors of Pupil Transportation Service (NASDPTS) has highlighted that over 104,000 school bus drivers reported that 77,972 vehicles passed their schools buses illegally all on a single day.

Many states and their school districts are now placing cameras outside the bus to record illegal passing and thus punish motorists who pass stopped school buses.

They don’t wait for the red lights to stop flashing which indicates that the motorists can proceed. Often drivers illegally passing stopped school buses will be issued tickets for which they have to pay heavy penalties.

Stop arm cameras can identify such motorists who are not obeying the law. The National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) recommends most U.S. states including Georgia to post a warning sign on all school buses which has a monitoring system installed and this indicates the use of such a system.

In case of any accidents, video footage can provide evidence on who is responsible and statements from eyewitness can provide details on what actually happened. Stop-arm cameras can also provide high definition photos of any vehicles passing through and its license plate.

However, in each country usage of video cameras for school purposes or even individual needs should be adhered to certain standard rules and policies.

Read Also: 15 School Bus Safety Ideas You Can Share With Everyone

For instance, in Canada, the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Newfoundland and Labrador – Donovan Molloy has recommended that installing and using cameras in schools and on school buses needs to be identified under the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act, 2015 (ATIPPA, 2015).

If not it will be considered as a law violation, leading to punishments and penalties. School districts considering outsourcing their transportation tasks should also mention their video surveillance policies in the contract they sign with the partner company.

Winter School Bus Driving Guidelines And Tips

Winter is the most inappropriate time for riding any sort of vehicle rather so a school bus.

For a school bus driver the safety of the students is the most important and riskiest job there is, and to carry it out on a winter surface is harder than normal.

School bus drivers should always be prepared for changing weather conditions, it’s always important to bring along additional weather gear to withstand the winter.

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

A few of the winter weather gear might include:

  • Thermals
  • Winter Parka
  • Gloves
  • Extra Socks
  • Winter Boots
  • Rain Slicker
  • Hat or Knit Cap
  • Rags
  • Flashlight
  • Ice Scraper

Anyone who has driven in snow knows that winter driving is difficult especially for heavy vehicle drivers. Driving a school bus in snow requires a special set of skills to ensure the safety of the students.

Here are few tips for school bus drivers on how to safely drive the bus on winter conditions

1.Plan Early

Don’t wait until winter hits you, take counter measures before hand. Weather conditions can go from mild to harsh in an instant so it’s better to be ready for the winter which is eventually coming. Take up safety measures which include

  • Establishing earlier start times and take alternate routes that is much safer from the rash weather
  • Ensure a stable communication channel with the faculty
  • Conduct a manual check-up for the school buses prior to the winter season ensuring that the vehicle is in tact

2. Train the Drivers

Winter road conditions are not at all similar to normal driving conditions, covered by thick snow the roads will be slick and slippery, the driving rules installed by the transportation ministry would not be enough in keeping the school bus safe.

Therefore school bus drivers should go through a specialized winter training course.

  • The driver training should consist of
  • Importance of increasing the following distance from a vehicle
  • The relevance of reducing the speed
  • Importance of slow acceleration, steering, and braking
  • Allowing longer stopping distance

Read Also: Futuristic School Bus Transportation

3. Winterize the School Buses

The school buses should be equipped to counter the winter season prior to the start of the season.

The school bus drivers should understand the limitations of their vehicle and must keep regular maintenance of the school bus.

Here are a few tips school bus drivers should keep in mind while winter proofing the school bus

  • All the batteries should be tested prior to the season
  • Switch to winter tires or assure that all tires have sufficient tread
  • Install antifreeze brake line
  • Introduce new windshield and wipers for the snowy weather
  • Cross check every switches and light to make sure they are functional
  • Introduce anti-fog product on interior glass and to reduce the adhesion of snow and ice use rain repellent material on the outside glasses
  • To provide emergency traction, the school buses at all time during the winter season should contain an oil absorbent or kitty litter

You don’t know what to expect during the harsh weather, sometimes even skilled driving would not be enough. Following are some additional Do’s and Don’ts to keep in mind

  • Be Cautious

Be extra cautious around bus stops, school zones and at bus loading and unloading areas where there exist a huge chance of high snow banks.

  • Slow Down, Don’t hurry

In harsh winter conditions don’t hurry, at these times the safety of the students must come above everything including staying on schedule.

  • Anticipate the road conditions

During winter the roads will be poor and dangerous so it’s better to keep a healthy distance between the vehicles and other objects in front of you, so that you could react to any unwanted instances en-route.

  • Don’t take chances, Drive Safely

In intersections always, be wary of other motorist and if you feel any sort of concern to move forward don’t, sometimes it’s better to take no road at all.

  • Be winter proof

Wear winter hats, boots, and clothing that will keep you warm. Rather than the harsh weather, there should not stand any discomfort for you while driving.

  • Use of Headlights

Countless accidents have occurred because drivers were surprised by a vehicle which they did not see until it was too late.

During inclement weather conditions like rain, sleet, snow, and hail you should turn on your headlights so others can see you.

In fact, any sort of weather condition which causes vision impairment is enough to turn your headlights on while driving.

  • Clear your bus off from Ice

Before you start the vehicle, be sure to wipe out every chunk of snow and ice from the windows, mirrors, headlights and make sure that the vehicle is visible to others.

Under normal driving conditions dealing with traffic, stopping, turning, maintaining the legal speed limit can all be controlled by using good driving techniques.

But when you come up against roads covered with snow and ice the entire dynamic changes.

Read Also: Electric Buses – Where Do We Stand Now

In extreme winter circumstances despite the incredible dangers presented by the slick surface, drivers must exercise great caution and practice the above mention tips to ensure the safety of the vehicle and students.

School Bus Driver Safety – How Technology Can Play a Role

School bus drivers are given the huge responsibility of transporting the children to and from the school safely. Driving a school bus is a very serious job and often thankless. The driver is exposed to many an experience on and off the bus and their safety is of utmost importance.

Nowadays, the school fleets comes fitted with a number of technological aids and this helps them to stay safe as well as do their jobs to the best of their abilities. We review below a list of technologies and gadgets that help them in more than one way.

Read Also: 10 School Bus Safety Tips for Drivers

1: Digital Cameras

Safety enforcement is always a tough job. During most of the trips, on-bus behaviour of the students is a major distraction for the driver. Most drivers trim this problem by assigning seats to the students.

Digital cameras that are installed in modern school fleets help the driver to constantly monitor the situation inside the bus while simultaneously maintaining a watchful eye on the road.

The cameras are also endowed with the capability to record both audio and video of the happenings inside the bus. This spares the driver from having to turn back to find out what exactly happened.

These cameras are also equipped to capture the licence plate details of vehicles that pass close by the bus when it halts.

2: Bus Tracking Systems

Bus tracking systems provide the much-needed transparency that is otherwise required of the bus drivers in reporting where the bus is located at that point in time.

These systems not only work to notify parents and school authorities of the current location of the bus, but they also act to restrict harsh driving behaviours.

Parents monitor both unscheduled bus routes/ bus stops that the drivers may take and also monitor the speed of the bus. This aspect keeps the children and the drivers safe.

Bus tracking apps help to keep away distress calls from the parents that would otherwise be a distraction for the driver. The school bus tracking app helps to provide real-time data as regards approach time of a bus near the scheduled bus stop.

It also helps the driver to do his work with the concentration required to get his wards to the bus stops at the scheduled times.

3: Mirror Grid Systems

The latest school fleets come fixed with a grid of mirrors. This 7-mirror system helps the drivers to have a wide-angle view of the surroundings of the bus.

The electric grids that are present behind the mirrors help the drivers during the cold winters. The heat generated by the grid removes the fog and snow particles that get lodged on the mirror during the winters. It helps to enhance the driver’s surrounding vision.


4: Driver-controlled Bus Doors

The doors of today’s school buses can be controlled by the bus drivers with the touch of a button. The driver’s control in the opening and closing the school bus doors are helpful in more ways than one.

Firstly, the absence of manual operations keeps away unnatural twists and turns of the body and the problems arising thereof. Shoulder pain, arm injuries, and fatigue can be completely avoided. The annual door swings are nil.

5: Air-cushioned Driver Seats

The latest school fleets come with built in driver seats that are kept up with the help of air pressure. This keeps the seat at a comfortable position for the driver and provides enhanced lumbar support that leads to fewer back problems for the drivers in the long run.

6: Smaller Bus Engines

As a direct consequence of miniaturization that is taking place in all fields, bus engines are now smaller in size. The smaller size of the engine means a smaller hood. This improves the field of vision of the driver and enables him to see more of the surroundings.

7: Computerized Diagnostic Tools

Computerized diagnostic tools that inform the driver well in advance about the upcoming maintenance jobs of the vehicle are a boon to the drivers.

Wear-out of tires, replacement of non-working indicator lights, and other maintenance jobs, if informed to the driver in advance helps them to keep the children and their job safe.

Other issues that can give the drivers a feeling of preparedness include indications about transmission problems, oil tanks and their malfunction, exhaust systems’ alarms, etc.

8: Wi-Fi Connectivity

Wi-Fi connectivity in the bus can keep children engaged with the Internet and allow them to complete their lessons, homework or indulge in other intellectually gainful activities.

This keeps them from engaging in unruly behaviour which can distract the drivers and keep them from performing their duties.

Read Also: School Bus Safety Precautions a Bus Driver should Take

9: Sensors

Installation of sensors in wireless devices will inform the drivers about the current status of brakes and emergency door systems. This prevents impending disasters.

Final Thoughts

Though skilled and careful driving is still the best preventative method to keep the kids safe during their ride on the school bus, technological aids, in the recent times have helped the drivers prevent many an accident.

Therefore it is important to install these technological gadgets and systems to make the school bus ride much safer than before.

A Simple Guide to Auto Route Optimization in School Buses

The world we live in is no longer as safe as it used to be. Crimes, especially against young children, are on the rise. Hardly a day or two passes without any crime against children being reported.

In addition, mishaps and accidents are a threat to the lives of students. As a result, parents are worried more than ever about the well being of their school going children.

Due to this reason schools have sought the help of technology to ensure the safety of the students who use their school bus to commute to and from school.

Read Also: Bus Route Optimization Tips for School Bus Safety and Economy

While cameras help school authorities to keep an eye on children when they are within the campus, the tracking software enables them to ensure their safety during their trip to and back from the school. The software also enables parents to keep track of their children through their mobile devices.

As such, the aim of this post is to provide some information on school bus auto route optimization. So, let us start by understanding as to what auto route optimization actually means. 

Auto Route Optimization – What Is It

Optimization of the school bus route is a process wherein the school transportation administrator generates one set of routes to ensure that all children are transported to and from school safely and on time.

Bus route optimization enables schools to reduce the number of buses and the distance to be travelled, thus contributing in saving fuel and other costs. It may not be possible to achieve this always, but it is certainly one of the important goals.


School bus routes can be optimized in many ways. A simple stop optimization could result in savings in running miles. It involves keeping the same stops on the routes and changing the order in which each stop is visited.

Another option is to observe stops on several routes and determine whether grouping them differently could result in a reduction in the distance travelled.

However, care should be taken not to overload the bus by assigning too many students in each route. Further, enough time should be allocated to buses to complete a trip.

As such, a number of components have to be considered while optimizing school bus routes. It is not an easy task to keep track of every variable in mind and manually optimize the school bus routes.

It is, therefore, best done with the help of software with built-in artificial intelligence capability. This software makes use of an algorithm to optimize the routes.

How Does School Bus Auto Route Optimization Work?

The route optimization software automatically creates routes on the basis of the specifications that the users provide. The parameters that the users may incorporate into the algorithm may include the following:

  • The maximum time a student should spend on the bus.
  • The maximum time allowed for the entire route. The starting point and destination is also taken into account in this case. The preferred pickup point in each school bus route may also be included as a parameter.
  • Specify the capacity.
  • Group the students either by school or route
  • Consider whether the bus should stop at each of the school in the route or at transfer points.
  • Choose buses to be used from the fleet.
  • Specify the size of the bus to be used on a specific route.

Routes are often created on the basis of the students to be included. Students may be added based on the school in which they are studying and the boundary or zone they are being transported to.

Once a route is finalized, it can be viewed on a map with each and every stop clearly marked. Reports can also be printed and reviewed. The software allows this process to run until the optimum route is determined.

The important aspect to be kept in mind is that this is just the starting point. Even after activating a route, it can be manipulated to suit the needs of the school.

What Are The Benefits Of Auto Route Optimization?

Read Also : Is Bus Route Optimization the Perfect Solution to Save Money

School bus operators often find it challenging to optimize the operational costs. They can reduce their costs only by optimizing their routes. The auto-routing ability of the software helps to do exactly that and derive a number of benefits. They include the following:

The built-in AI capability of the software provides auto suggestions on the most fuel-efficient routes. In addition, it carries out efficiency checks to make sure that all the current school bus routes are operating at their optimum capacity.

A lot of recorded data related to routes, pick up points, school buses and their seating capacity are made use of for the purpose. Vehicle assignments are often initiated by considering the current data collated in the registration forms.

 This feature is very helpful in efficiently managing multiple pick-up points in one route. If a kid that is being picked up in a route changes location, the system comes up with a contingency plan and suggests the pickup and drop points.

The route optimization feature of the software also helps to identify the shortest route. Pick up and drop points are suggested based on the earlier points assigned. It is carried out after thorough analysis and suggests the best pick-up point for each every student in the shortest route.

The software provides school bus operators not only with feedback but also suggestions for achieving time and fuel efficiency.

The school bus auto route optimization software spares the in-charge of the efforts involved in manually allocating the routes.

It also allows the school bus drivers to drive peacefully as they are always provided with an updated route map that clearly indicates the pickup as well as drop points.

When a school wants to redistrict and implement optimize routes the software enables them to tweak the routes. Through optimization, it is possible to eliminate few trips and this allows the school to save substantial amount of money.

It is the key features of the auto route optimization that make it extremely useful: They include the following:

1. Pick up and drop points are taken into account when suggesting a route.

2. Optimizes the pickup points and improves efficiency.

3. Automatically updates the best pick-up order, hence saving time and fuel consumption.

4. Auto optimization aligns multiple pick-up points in one route to create the shortest route.

5. Centralization of data enables the determination of the shortest route to reduce the distance travelled.     

6. The route optimization application automatically modifies the current seating capacity based on the number of students in a route.

7. The beauty of the system is that it automatically collects the data whenever the pickup or drop off point is modified.

9. It is also capable of suggesting alternate best routes to avoid traffic.

Finally, the software may also be employed for the purpose of generating new ideas with respect to route optimization. Using the school bus auto route optimization software it is also possible to identify new ways to cut routes and save money.

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.


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.


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.


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 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.


How to Deal With School Bus Accident

School bus accidents do happen at times and they can happen anytime and anywhere.

In fact, hundreds of accidents are reported every year.

Statistically, school buses are safer than most of the other vehicles that ply on the road.

But still, school buses can meet with accidents which is daunting as children are involved.

Read Also

20 Must-know School Bus Safety Tips for School Bus Drivers

If you are a parent, you would like to know exactly what you should do if your child’s school bus met with an accident. 

Read on to know more as to how you could deal with it.

School Bus Accidents – Types

Typically, parents imagine a collision when they came to know that their child’s school bus met with an accident during the journey.

Actually, collisions do happen, but other types of accidents also cause injuries to children.

These include the following:  

•    Falling while entering or alighting the bus

•    Tripping and falling while on the bus

•    Slipping and falling in the aisle (wet floors)

•    A child’s backpack or clothes might get caught on the bus and he/she might be dragged as the bus is driven off

The first and foremost thing you should do is to know the details about the accident as soon as possible.

It is not wise to rely too much on the school to update you as what actually happened as they might squarely be responsible for the cause of accident.

Read Also

How to Avoid School Bus Accidents

What Should You Do

If your child gets involved in an accident while travelling by the school bus, it is not easy to find out what actually happened if you were not there when the accident happened.

Therefore, it is crucial to take the following steps:

•First of all, ensure that your child is given medical attention immediately.

This is because their well-being is your top most priority.

•Document everything regarding the accident as quickly as you can.

It will be a good idea if you talk to other parents as well and write down all the details.

•Take photos of at least your child’s injuries if not possible to take pictures of the accident scene.

In case your child’s school bus accident case goes to trial, his/her injuries would have most likely healed by then.

This means you will not have any visual proof to provide.

• The next step is to contact a lawyer experienced in handling bus accident cases.

Strict deadlines have to be adhered to when you file a claim for personal injury compensation.

An attorney who is experienced in handling bus accident cases knows exactly what is to be done and when it has to be done.