SCHOOL BUS SAFETY
It’s National School Bus Safety Week! AT DATTCO Safety is our priority – whether we are transporting students to and from school, commuters to and from work, a sports team to a game, or a tour group, our drivers put safety first. DATTCO is the recipient of the 2018 International Motorcoach Group’s Safety Award – one of the most prestigious awards in the industry. Our drivers receive comprehensive, ongoing training and proficiency testing. They learn everything from how to conduct a pre-trip inspection of their bus to how to handle an active shooter situation.
And it’s not just our drivers who are committed to safety, our fleet of vehicles is held to a high standard of excellence, which is reflected in our DMV inspection report stating that only 3.70 % (down from 4.01% the year prior!) of our total fleet of 1,350 school buses were out of service last year – one of the best (lowest) rates statewide.
But it’s not just our hard work and commitment to safety that keeps the students we transport safe – motorists, parents and the students themselves can play a key role in safety. Here are some quick tips on how we can work together to make the bus and bus stops safe for all!
SCHOOL BUS SAFETY TIPS
- When the bus approaches, stand at least 6 feet away from the curb, and line up away from the street.
- Wait until the bus stops, the door opens, and the driver says that it’s okay before stepping onto the bus.
- If you have to cross the street in front of the bus, walk on the sidewalk or along the side of the road to a point at least 10 feet ahead of the bus before you cross. Be sure that the bus driver can see you, and you can see the bus driver.
- Use the handrails to avoid falls. When exiting the bus, be careful that clothing or backpacks don’t get caught in the handrails or doors.
- Never walk behind the bus.
- If you drop something near the bus, tell the bus driver. Never try to pick it up because the driver may not be able to see you.
- Remind children to look to the right before they step off the bus. Drivers in a hurry sometimes try to sneak by buses on the right.
- Don´t let your child play running games or push and shove at the bus stop. It is dangerous near traffic.
- Children should talk quietly, be courteous to the driver and follow the driver´s instructions.
- Children should stay seated during the entire bus ride and keep the aisles clear.
- Give your child a note or follow your school´s procedures if you would like for the child to get off at a stop other than the one they are assigned. The driver isn´t allowed to let a child off at another stop without written permission.
- If you meet your child at the bus stop after school, wait on the side where the child will be dropped off, not across the street. Children can be excited to see you after school that they dash across the street and forget the safety rules.
- Never pass a bus when it is stopped to load or unload children. It is Illegal in all 50 states!
- Yellow flashing lights indicate that the bus is preparing to stop to pick up or drop off children. If you are driving, slow down and prepare to stop. Red flashing lights and an extended stop arm indicate that the bus is stopped, and that children are getting on or off. This, of course, means that you have to stop as well.
- The area 10 feet around a school bus is the most dangerous for children; stop far enough back to allow them space to safely enter and exit the bus
- Be alert; children often are unpredictable, and they tend to ignore hazards and take risks
- When backing out of a driveway or leaving a garage, watch out for children walking or bicycling to school. Better yet, walk around your car or out to the sidewalk to check for any children walking in your path before you get in.
- Drive slowly and watch for children walking in the street, especially if there are no sidewalks. Also, be aware of children playing or waiting around bus stops.
- Be aware that roads that pass near schools may have slower speed limits during arrival and dismissal times than during non-school hours and that those limits are often more strictly enforced.