School buses are designed to transport children to and from school safely. They are the safest on the road – your child is much safer when taking a school bus than traveling by car or any other vehicle. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) knows school buses should be as safe as possible, which is why school buses are made much safer than regular passenger buses.
School bus safety extends beyond the design of the buses themselves. School bus drivers, students, parents, teachers, administrators, transportation personnel, and motorists play essential roles in keeping everyone safe on board and around the school bus.
School bus safety is a top priority in the country. The National School Bus Safety Week, held during the third week of October each year, is an educational program that reinforces bus safety rules among students, parents, teachers, motorists, school bus companies, transportation personnel, school administrators, and other involved parties. The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) participates in National School Bus Safety Week.
Of course, qualified drivers are essential in school bus safety. They can help with National School Bus Safety Week through these tips:
- Always inspect the bus before every run for mechanical defects that could jeopardize safety.
- Establish a positive relationship with your students. As long as you’re all inside the bus, you are the authority figure they
- Your students always count on you, so be reliable!
- Remind the students that state law prohibits standing on the bus while the bus is in motion.
- Check to ensure that all children exiting the bus are safely away from the bus before deactivating your 8-way light system and moving the school bus.
- Make sure all traffic stops and all safety equipment have been engaged before allowing the children to unload from the bus.
- After the children have exited the bus stop or after your last stop, check the vehicle to ensure no more children remain on the bus.
- Always be prepared to act appropriately in crashes and emergencies – your actions could spell the difference between life and death.
- Remind the students of the state law that prohibits them from blocking the aisles and the emergency exit.
- Ensure to provide the students with adequate instructions to familiarize them with the school bus emergency measures, equipment used, and loading and unloading measures.
- Always follow the “Five Alive” Operation Lifesaver procedures when approaching a railroad crossing, train tracks, or highway crossings. Check the Operation Life Saver website for more information.
- If you encounter an emergency vehicle, be aware that even though it must come to a complete stop when meeting a school bus loading or unloading students, it still can proceed according to the law, even if the school bus’s 8-way light system is still on. The emergency vehicle should proceed with caution so that it doesn’t risk the students’ lives.
School bus drivers can help students learn about National School Bus Safety Week since it emphasizes student safety as a shared responsibility. For the school bus drivers, every week is safety week! Keeping students safe should always be a top priority for every responsible school bus driver. Do you have the skills and desire to become one? Check out https://schoolbushero.com/jobs for the available school bus driver and other related positions in Pennsylvania.