Student School Bus Safety Programs: 4 Options

Student School Bus Safety

Student School Bus Safety Programs.jpgHow much does your district spend on school bus safety training? If yours is a typical district, it's probably not much. Yet, over and over, districts which have implemented more robust programs have found that bus safety training can significantly reduce on-road incidents, making the drive safer for everyone on the bus.

If you currently don't have much in the way of bus safety training, here are some ideas we've seen in action which might provide effective ways of increasing safety.

Four Ways to Promote School Bus Safety in Your District

1. "Bus in a Classroom"

One popular theory for why children misbehave on buses is that they've never actually seen proper behavior modeled, particularly those with lax parents who don't encourage proper ridership in the car. So, one solution is to invite the bus drivers to conduct a series of classes specifically aimed at simulating and modeling good riding behavior.

Depending on the age\maturity of your students, you might also think about including material specifically about the dangers of poor bus behavior, particularly in terms of why the driver should never be distracted.

2. Parent Ride-Alongs

Another option, along the same lines, is to make parents part of the process. We've seen districts quite successfully invite parents to ride along on either the morning or afternoon buses at the start of the year so they could see for themselves how children are expected to behave. Then they could encourage such behavior among their kids after-hours.

If nothing else, it can cut down on parents claiming they didn't know the disciplinary requirements for bus riding.

3. Safety Events / Safety Fairs

This is a somewhat more elaborate/expensive option, but could give good results: Carve out a day, or at least an afternoon, and create a "safety fair" that's setup like a job fair. There are multiple stations and each one emphasizes a different aspect of school buses, ridership, and good driving habits.

The benefit here is that, unlike other options, such an event could be opened up to the public. So, it could be a way to teach local drivers better on-road behavior as well.

4. DVD Learning Materials

For a more low-budget approach, there are numerous options available in DVD learning materials. These generally only cost a few hundred dollars and come with different courses aimed at different age\grade levels. While not as hands-on as other options, the big benefit here is that the discs could be reused for many years into the future, making them an excellent value.

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What has your district done to promote and educate others about student school bus safety?  Any suggestions are greatly appreciated.  Please leave your response below.