Fixing Holes in School Bus Safety
published on April 05, 2018 by Sonia Mastros
Staying on top of school bus safety is a never-ending challenge for any district transportation coordinator. There are plenty of ways that a school bus and its routes can be made safer, and never quite enough time to address them all. Undoubtedly, any bus safety plan has some "holes" in it, or areas which aren't as secure as one might like.
This will vary substantially from district to district, but there are still some common holes we see in our own consulting work. Let's talk about some of them.
Five Common School Bus Safety Issues That Often Go Overlooked
1. Defensive Driving
When is the last time your drivers went through a defensive driving seminar? If it's been more than a couple years, a refresher might be in order. There's arguably no better or more practical method of improving bus safety than a good knowledge of defensive driving.
2. Mirrors and Placement
Do your buses have any blind spots? Check with your drivers. Even small blind spots can potentially be big problems when the bus is on the road. Mirrors are cheap to add and a great safety feature in general.
Another area where it's worth going "above and beyond" with safety is the exterior lighting on your school bus. Most modern emergency vehicles like police and ambulances have been steadily adding lights over the years for more visibility, but buses have lagged behind. It's cheap and effective to add more lights to your buses - and they might even help reduce stop-arm violations!
4. Unsafe Routing
Do your school buses go through areas which are known to have high levels of crime, traffic, or accidents? Modern school bus routing programs can help you route around problem areas, keeping your students safer by avoiding potential trouble entirely. With GPS systems, you could potentially even set up "no-go" zones that alert the drivers if they get too close.
5. Student Evacuation Drills
Perhaps your drivers are well-trained and well-equipped, but what about your students? Have they received enough training that they could safely exit the bus in an emergency situation, such as one where the driver is unconscious? A lot of districts tend to overlook the importance of student safety training, but it could make all the difference if an actual accident occurs.
Improve School Bus Safety With BusBoss
The BusBoss range of products and services include better routing software as well as superior GPS and RFID tracking technologies to keep your precious cargo safe on every drive.
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