Are Drivers Solely Responsible for School Bus Safety?
published on October 31, 2017 by Sonia MastrosOne of the biggest mistakes we occasionally see people make in regards to bus driving is believing that school bus safety begins and ends on the school bus itself. It's understandable how someone might take a reductive view on the matter since, after all, the driver is the one at the steering wheel.
However, the reality is that school bus safety goes far beyond the driver themselves. Keeping our children safe on school buses is an effort that almost everyone in a school district can contribute to. So we wanted to talk a bit about this, and the various ways people can help ensure our school bus rides are as safe as possible.
Different Ways People Can Contribute to School Bus Safety in Their District
Obviously, the drivers still shoulder a large portion of the safety burden. Every driver should be doing their best to show up for work alert and ready to give their best effort for every drive. They should also be working to keep their skills honed, by attending extra training sessions such as for defensive driving. School administrators can help by making such training easily available.
Administrators in a school district are nearly as responsible as the bus drivers because they carry the financial burden. School administration ultimately determines how well-maintained the school bus fleet is, for example. They can also make the decision to add safety features to buses such as video cameras or GPS systems, which increase overall safety levels. Any support they show towards boosting safety can do a lot to protect children onboard.
3. The Public
The public at large needs to show respect for school buses, particularly when it comes to the illuminated "Stop" signs when the bus is loading or unloading. Estimates are that literally millions of drivers ignore those stop signs every year, and actual fatalities have occurred. The more that can be done to educate the public on how to behave safely around school buses, the better. Some districts have even begun putting stop-light cameras on their buses and notifying police of offenders.
4. The Student Passengers
Let's not forget that the children onboard the bus can be encouraged to help improve safety as well. Or, at least, to not be overt distractions to the driver. More education on the dangers of misbehaving can encourage improved behavior. Alternately, more administrative support of bus drivers in their disciplinary efforts can also help. Bus drivers should always have options when dealing with rowdy, disruptive, or distracting students for the sake of protecting all the other passengers.
What do you think? How is your district helping to improve school bus safety, and how many groups are you involving in the effort?