It’s generally agreed that loading and unloading are the most dangerous times for a child riding a school bus. In fact, the loading and unloading area is even occasionally referred to “the danger zone” because of how many problems could potentially occur. The students are beyond the driver’s direct control and exposed to traffic and other hazards.
When it comes to drawing up bus routes, most districts try to do it at the beginning of the school year and stick with it. Sometimes that’s just not possible, and circumstances beyond their control dictate that routes may have to be re-planned during the school year. This brings up a big problem – how to inform parents of school bus route changes and ensure every child still gets on the right bus home.
The topic of school bus fuels and the environmental harm done by bus fleets is being treated with increasing concern. With the majority of school buses on the road still being powered by diesel engines, they’re responsible for a lot of pollution. Many districts would like to explore alternative school bus fuels, but the expenses involved can be daunting.
One morning in 2015 a nonverbal, autistic high school student named Paul Lee was left behind on his Whittier, CA, school bus. Eight hours later, in temperatures approaching 100 degrees, he was dead – not discovered until it was time for the bus’s afternoon route. It was a genuine tragedy, one which highlighted how important it was to always guarantee no students were forgotten on school buses.
So let’s take a look at what might be your district’s next vehicle investment!
When drivers endanger school bus riders thousands of times every day by ignoring stop-arm signals, it’s clearly a problem that needs solving. But how?
One of the more common solutions being adopted is the use of stop-arm cameras, which work in roughly the same fashion as traffic light cameras. The camera attempts to capture the license plate of anyone speeding by a stopped bus, and the resulting stop-arm fines are mailed to the offending driver’s address on record.