School Bus Safety
School Bus Safety Instruction
The Clear Creek Amana Community School District will conduct school bus safe riding practices instruction and emergency safety drills at least twice during the school year for students who utilize school district transportation.
Each school bus vehicle will have, in addition to the regular emergency safety drill, a plan for helping those students who require special assistance to safety during an emergency. This will include, but not be limited to, students with disabilities.
School district vehicle drivers are required to attend each safety drill.
Employees are responsible for instructing the proper techniques to be followed during an emergency, as well as safe riding practices.
School Bus Safety for Drivers
Here are some reminders for drivers:
- When the bus’s yellow flashers turn on, that signifies that it is preparing to have child get on or off the bus. All vehicles behind the bus must come to a complete stop.
- If you are approaching a bus from the opposite direction, slow your speed to 20 mph when the bus turns on its yellow flashers.
- On a two-lane road, traffic in both directions must come to a full stop when the lights are flashing red.
- On a four-lane road, traffic moving in the opposite direction must slow down and proceed with caution when either red or yellow flashers are present.
- Stop your vehicle at least 15 feet from the bus.
- Remain stopped until the flashing lights are turned off and the stop arm is pulled back in.
- Failure to comply could result in a fine of $250 plus court costs.
School Bus Safety For Students
School Bus Danger Zones:
School buses are over 2000 times safer than the family car. Children are hurt outside the school bus more often than inside. The child who bends over to retrieve something they dropped, or who walks too close to the bus while crossing the road, needs to be aware that every yellow school bus is surrounded by a danger zone.
- They should take five giant steps as soon as they leave the bus.
- They should establish eye contact with the driver when crossing in front of the bus and proceed only when the driver nods approval.
- The most difficult thing to teach children is not to go back to pick up items they've dropped near the bus or left on the bus.
Students riding a school bus should always:
- Arrive at the bus stop five minutes early.
- Stand at least 5 giant steps (10 feet) away from the edge of the road.
- Wait until the bus stops, the door opens, and the driver says it’s okay before stepping onto the bus.
- Be careful that clothing with drawstrings and book bags with straps or dangling objects do not get caught in the handrail or door when exiting the bus.
- Check both ways for cars before stepping off the bus.
Crossing students should:
- Walk in front of the bus; never walk behind the bus.
- Walk on the sidewalk or along the side of the road to a point at least 10 giant steps ahead of the bus.
- Be sure the bus driver can see them, and they can see the bus driver.
- Wait for the driver’s signal to cross
Things Kids Should know About School Bus Safety:
- The bus driver and others cannot see you if you are standing closer than 10 feet to the bus. Stay out of the danger zone!
- If something falls under or near the bus, tell the driver. NEVER try to pick it up yourself!
- While waiting for the bus, stay in a safe place away from the street.
- When you get on or off the bus, look for the bus safety lights and make sure they are flashing.
- Be alert to traffic. When you get on or off the bus, look left, right, left before you enter or cross the street.
- When the driver says it is safe to cross the street, remember to CROSS IN FRONT of the bus.
- Stay in your seat and sit quietly so that the driver is not distracted.
- Some school buses now have seat belts. If you have seat belts on your school bus, be sure to learn to use the seat belt correctly.
Things Parents Should know About School Bus Safety:
- School buses are the safest form of highway transportation.
- The most dangerous part of the school bus ride is getting on and off the bus.
- Pedestrian fatalities (while loading and unloading school buses) account for approximately three times as many school bus-related fatalities, when compared to school bus occupant fatalities.
- The loading and unloading area is called the “Danger Zone”
- The “Danger Zone” is the area on all sides of the bus where children are in the most danger of not being seen by the driver (ten feet in front of the bus where the driver may be too high to see a child, ten feet on either side of the bus where a child may be in the driver’s blind spot, and the area behind the bus).
- Half of the pedestrian fatalities in school bus-related crashes are children between 5 and 7 years old.
Young children are most likely to be struck because they:
- Hurry to get on and off the bus
- Act before they think and have little experience with traffic
- Assume motorists will see them and will wait for them to cross the street
- Don’t always stay within the bus driver’s sight.
School Bus Discipline
The number one priority of school bus drivers is to safely transport children to and from school. Not only is this a very important job, it is also very difficult. While drivers have to give their primary attention to the road, they are also expected to maintain discipline on the buses.
There are up to 60 children on each bus, often sitting behind tall seats so the driver can barely see them when making occasional glances into the rear-view mirror. Without the cooperation of the students and the support of the parents and the school administrators, it just is not possible for drivers to meet all the expectations of their job.
We have in the past considered a zero tolerance policy for discipline, meaning that a driver could suspend a student immediately for one day. Parents would then have to transport the student to school.
We have instead opted for a system of write-ups where a student is not suspended from the bus until the third write-up. This gives the parents an opportunity to work with their children to help them learn from their mistakes and modify their behavior so they not have to be suspended from the bus.
Compare the job of a bus driver to that of a teacher. Bus drivers have three times as many students as most classrooms and they have their backs to the class. They cannot see and react to every situation. The drivers need your support.
Please talk to your kids about school bus behavior. The most effective discipline plans start in the home. Help the drivers and the administrators develop a system that makes student transportation safe for all. Remember, our number one goal is safe transportation for our children.
If you have school bus concerns or questions, please contact the CCA transportation director at 319-530-4456. As a part of your school transportation team, we are committed to the goal of providing a safe and pleasant ride for all students on a daily basis. Your cooperation is always appreciated in helping us achieve this goal.