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School Bus Drivers: Understanding Miranda's Law

In May 2018, a truly tragic school bus accident occurred in New Jersey. A bus traveling on I-80 apparently overshot its intended exit, causing the driver to attempt to pull a massive U-turn across multiple lanes. This led to a direct side-on collision from a garbage truck as the bus drove perpendicular to traffic, leading to the deaths of both a student, Miranda Vargas, as well as a teacher.

School Bus Driver Training: Working With Special Needs Students

Last month, a potentially very dangerous mistake occurred in Waterloo, Iowa: A school bus driver mistakenly dropped off an autistic girl at the wrong location. Unsupervised, she wandered more than a mile away and was found at a local Target. Fortunately, she was entirely unharmed.

According to the story, this happened due to multiple failures:

School District Settles After Biracial Student Dragged by School Bus

Most of the time, when a bus driver does something that endangers students, it's due to poor judgement. Occasionally, however, it can be malicious - as we saw earlier this year in Farmington, Utah. In a deeply disturbing incident, a 14-year-old biracial child was dragged by the bus for approximately 175 feet, after the 78-year-old driver closed the door on his backpack, trapping him outside.

Five Tips for Ensuring School Bus Passenger Safety

As we start the new school year, one of the most important issues on the mind of every transportation director should be school bus safety. Even though school buses are already by far the safest vehicles on the road, they can always be made safer.

We've made a list of suggestions, ranging from the simple to the more complicated, that a district might consider implementing in the name of bus safety.

Best Practices for School Bus Security and Surveillance

For many districts, onboard video camera systems represent an excellent solution to many school bus security issues. With video cameras, you can keep a close eye on the behavior of students and drivers, while always having footage available if there are disputes between drivers, students, and\or parents.

That said, video cameras can create problems of their own, particularly if students or parents are concerned about privacy. Having a clear policy outlining best practices for use of the cameras will go a long way towards preventing these problems!

New York May Levy Steeper Stop-Arm Fines - But Is That The Right Approach?

 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.

Safe Kids Worldwide Promotes Stop-Arm Camera Advocacy

It’s a situation bus drivers have seen countless times: They bring the bus to a stop, extend the stop-arm, begin to let students disembark – only to see a car behind them ignore the stop sign and speed past. Every time this happens, children are endangered, and estimates are that it happens millions of times a year in America.

There’s one tactic which has shown promise in cutting down on this trend: stop-arm cameras. Much like stoplight cameras, these can capture the details of cars which disregard the bus’s stop sign, sending automated tickets to violators. Tests performed in districts with stop-arm cameras have suggested it can decrease violations by 15% in only a single year.

Student School Bus Safety Programs: 4 Options

How 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.


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