School Bus Drivers Know Back to School Safety

The new school year is here!

As expected, school bus drivers undergo ongoing training. The training for a new school year includes learning about the assigned routes and bus stops so that they know where to pick up students and drop them off. However, this training also has a safety aspect, where school bus drivers and attendants learn how to best respond to various emergencies, such as road crashes or shooting incidents.

Whether veteran drivers have served their district for many years or are newcomers, all drivers should participate in back-to-school training, which considers safety procedures and protocols.

School buses are considered to be among the safest modes of transport. Students are 70 times more likely to arrive at school safely when taking the school bus rather than having a parent drive them by car, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). NHTSA says that school buses are the most regulated vehicles on the road, as they’re designed for safety compared to regular passenger buses.

However, the risk comes the moment kids walk toward the bus stop and get on and off the bus. This risk is where parents are most worried about

NHTSA adds that more school-age pedestrians are killed from 7:00 to 8:00 in the morning and from 3:00 to 4:00 in the afternoon.

School bus drivers preparing for the upcoming school require training to avoid such unfortunate incidents. For example, they should drive slowly and watch for other kids in the street, especially when there are no sidewalks.

They also ensure that the bus is clean and mechanically sound as they ready the vehicle for the road.

Safety school bus tips for students

Understandably, many children may be too excited to go back to school that they cannot wait to board their school buses.

However, school bus drivers should be responsible for teaching students the proper safety procedures, whether they get on or off the bus and ride to and from school. After all, one of the driver’s duties is to monitor the students and ensure their safety.

Students should follow the commands that their drivers instruct them.

When getting on the bus:

  • Be at the bus stop – at least five minutes – before the bus should arrive. If students are at the stop right before the bus comes, it will keep children from standing outside for too long and dissuade them from playing around the street until the bus arrives.
  • Stand six feet or more from the curb as the bus arrives, and keep the line away from the street.
  • Students must wait until the bus stops, its door opens, and the driver says it’s okay to step onto the bus.
  • Keep yourself visible to the bus driver at all times. If you must cross the street in front of the bus, make sure you’re at least ten (10) feet ahead of it before crossing so that the bus driver can see you and the driver.
  • Never walk behind the bus. Always make sure that you’re in line of sight of the school bus driver.
  • Use the handrail to avoid falling.

While riding the bus:

  • If belts are available on bus seats, buckle up.
  • Don’t talk loudly or make loud noises that could distract the driver.
  • Remain in your seat. The only time students should be out of their seats is when the bus is at a complete stop, and they are going to or leaving their seats to get off the bus.
  • Don’t put your hand, arms, or head out the window.
  • Don’t block the aisle with your books, bags, and other items.
  • Gather your belongings before reaching the stop.
  • Wait for the bus to stop before getting up from your seat.

When getting off the bus:

  • Always use the handrail when getting off the bus.
  • Watch over your clothing, bags, and other items so they don’t get caught in the doors or handrails while getting off the bus.
  • If you cross the street after exiting the bus, be at least 10 feet ahead of the bus so that the bus driver can see you.
  • Wait for the bus driver’s signal before crossing before the bus.
  • When the driver makes a signal, look at your left, right, then left again. As you cross the road, be alert and keep an eye out for sudden traffic changes.
  • If something blocks your vision, move to an area where you can see the other drivers and the drivers can see you.
  • Avoid crossing the road’s center line until the bus driver confirms and signals that it’s safe.
  • Stay away from the bus’s rear wheels at all times.
  • If you accidentally drop something near the bus, tell your driver. Don’t try to pick it up yourself without the driver’s warning first because the driver may not be able to see you.

Did you know there are many advantages to driving a school bus other than helping keep children safe? Read this article to learn more.

Are you interested in becoming a school bus driver in Pennsylvania for the coming academic year? If you have what it takes to be a school bus driver (as well as proper licenses and pertinent documents), explore available school bus driver jobs at