6 Tips to Keep Students and School Bus Drivers Safer

22 Aug 2019

With summer vacation is coming to its end, parents are beginning to focus on preparing their children for the upcoming school year. Part of this focus should be ensuring your children are being safely transported back and forth from school.

According to the American School Bus Council, students are around 70 times likely to safely arrive at school if they travel by school bus instead of car. With teenage drivers having higher rates of crashes than adults, the school bus provides students with a far safer alternative. Plus, the students can text, socialize and talk with their friends without the dangerous risks involved with inexperienced or distracted driving which can affect everybody on the road. Below are some tips to keep students and school bus drivers safer.

 For Students

  1. Arrive at the Bus Stop On Time

Children should arrive at their bus stop a minimum of five minutes before the scheduled bus arrival time. Take your child to the bus stop beforehand and show them where they will wait for the bus to arrive. This should be a minimum of six feet from the curb. If your children are younger, remind them they should run or play around the bus stop.

  1. Use Caution Around the Bus

Children shouldn’t walk behind a school bus. If crossing the street, they must cross in front of the bus, however, they should be at least 10 feet in front of the bus before they cross. Tell them before they cross, they need to make eye contact with their bus driver so ensure they see them. If your child drops something close to the bus, they should let the bus driver know and not pick the item up themselves since the driver may not see them.

  1. Get On and Off the Bus Safely

Your child should wait until their school bus stops completely, once it arrives, and the driver opens the door and says its okay to approach the door before they board the bus. They should use the handrails when entering to avoid falling.

For Bus Drivers

  1. Secure the Bus

Drivers should park the bus in a secure area. They should conduct pre-trip inspections thoroughly and consistently. They should never leave the bus out of sight or unattended and should keep an eye out for out-of-place things like a propane-style tank, a canister, bottle or metal box.

  1. Keep an Eye Out for Things that Don’t Look Right

Drivers should pay attention to details that just don’t look right. Some examples would be:

  • A student on the bus that’s dressed totally differently for no certain occasion
  • A vehicle following behind the bus for no known reason
  • A bookbag or backpack left behind

Bus drivers should also watch children’s hands or those who look suspicious. If a student is upset or angry and they suddenly put their hands in their backpack, pocket or behind their back, drivers should watch and be ready, in case it’s a knife or gun they’re reaching for.

  1. GPS Fleet Tracking For School Buses

Safety is a top priority when transporting children back and forth from school. With GPS fleet tracking, it’s possible to identify the exact location of a school bus 24/7. If the bus engages in unsafe driving, veers off route or speeds, fleet managers are alerted automatically. GPS tracking software helps to keep drivers accountable for their driving actions.

During the school year, drivers of school buses ensure their students reach their destinations on time and safely. Not only do school bus drivers play a significant role in your child’s safety, parents and the general public driving close to school buses should too.

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