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School Bus Driver Training

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1 School Bus Driver Training
Unit A The School Bus Driver: Role, Responsibilities, and Requirements

2 Objectives At the end of this session school bus operators will be able to: Describe their role and responsibilities Recognize that their appearance and behavior affect community attitudes Demonstrate positive and supportive attitudes and habits Know their responsibilities to their supervisor, fellow employees, and the school district Understand the process for becoming a school bus operator in Pennsylvania

3 Introduction Competent school bus drivers are essential!
School bus drivers have specific Roles Responsibilities Becoming a school bus driver has certain Requirements Competent school bus drivers and standard bus operation are necessary to a safe, efficient, and economical student transportation system.

4 Roles, Responsibilities, Requirements
Role as a driver Responsibilities as a driver What do I need to do to become a School Bus driver in PA? This Unit is about the Role Responsibilities Of school bus drivers, as well as the Requirements Needed to become a licensed driver or recertify as a driver.

5 Role as a Driver Attitude You are important You are responsible
You are a member of the Safety Team Driving a school bus is difficult, requiring: knowledge of laws and regulations visual and mechanical skills, ability to make judgments, decisions, and accurate responses. There are four foundational components of your role as a school bus driver: You need the right attitude You need to recognize that you are important You need to be responsible You are part of the Safety Team

6 Attitude Stay positive Recognize your moods
Be prepared to make allowances for the poor attitudes of others Always be mentally alert Being aware of your moods, as your moods may influence your driving. For example, carrying anger may lead to aggressive driving. Further, your mood may influence those around you. Be positive! Greet your students with a smile. The poor attitudes and driving of other motorists may influence you. Be mentally prepared to make allowances. Do not react emotionally. Such reactions may lead to a crash. A good school bus driver must also be able to maintain focus. There are many distractions when driving a bus, but nothing can be allowed to distract the driver’s attention from the task at hand – to safely transport students to and from their schools.

7 You are Important Professional Part of the educational system
Representative of the school system Influence Professional school bus drivers have an important responsibility in the school system. You are the first person within the educational system students see in the morning and the last they see in the afternoon. As such, you have an influence on children’s attitudes toward school.

8 You are Responsible Safely transport students You control your driving
You control your attitude Your job is to safely transport students from one place to another. Under your control are: how you drive how you feel about your students - you should enjoy being around students how you feel about your coworkers how you feel about your job. Allow yourself to enjoy your job and keep a positive attitude!

9 You are a Member of the Safety Team
Safety starts with you You are transporting students in buses on public roadways You are a key member of the safety team that works with the students each day The roles that affect students each day together constitute a safety team. This safety team includes: students their parents teachers school administrators law enforcement officials school bus drivers In terms of directly affecting student safety, school bus drivers have as much responsibility as anyone on the team.

10 Responsibilities as a Driver
High standard of conduct Driving technique Passengers Public relations Appropriate dress Supervisor and fellow employees Relationship to Transportation Director

11 High Standard of Conduct
Standard of conduct is high Your conduct cannot be open to criticism You are a role model to students You are a representative of the school district A school bus driver is expected to meet standards of conduct higher than other professional drivers. Your conduct on and off duty must be such that your actions are not open to criticism. Your students and their parents place great confidence in you. You need to be: Dependable Emotionally stable Mature enough to cope with unexpected situations. Interested in the welfare of others Patient and understanding Enjoy working with students Observant of traffic laws, regulations, and rules Neat and clean as a symbol of the entire school system Refrain from using profane language Well rested Free from drug and alcohol use

12 Driving Technique Driver attitude Knowledge Skill
Your attitude toward driving, your knowledge, and your skill are all developed through an interest in safe driving. This development includes pre-employment training and continued in-service training. Development of driving technique requires consistent re-evaluation and improvement. A safe and defensive school bus driver must handle and maintain control of the bus at all times.

13 Passengers The conduct of passengers depends upon the driver
Express an interest in your student passengers Show that rules are about safety Be fair Communication is businesslike, yet friendly Try, as much as possible, to establish positive relationships with your student passengers. To a large extent passenger behavior will depend on your rapport with them. A way to establish good rapport and show interest is to try to learn your passengers’ names, and greet them when they enter the bus. This can help you gain their confidence. Also, compliment your passengers’ good behavior. Explain the rules of the bus at the beginning of the school year, and maintain discipline according to those rules. Be fair. Communicate with passengers – be businesslike, yet friendly.

14 Public Relations You influence public opinion about the school district You represent the school district to parents Consider all enforcement officers as part of the safety team Show pride in your work Respect co-workers The behavior of school bus drivers can directly influence the opinions people in the community have toward the school district. Sometimes school bus drivers are the only representatives of the district that the parents of students meet. How bus drivers interact with their children will guide the opinions of those parents. Students and their parents have a wide variety of opinions about the school system. Treating everyone with courtesy and professionalism will do much to enhance your own reputation as well as instill confidence in your student passengers and their parents. All safety enforcement officers are part of the same safety team as you are. These include crossing guards and school patrols. Work with them. Their cooperation with you, and yours with them, enhances the safety of students. Good relations with the community begin with good relations with your co-workers. An organization whose employees demonstrate mutual friendliness, interest, and respect is in a position to extend good relations beyond itself.

15 Appropriate Dress The school bus driver should be identified as a professional Dress to instill respect Wear appropriate shoes for driving The school bus driver should look different than students. Clothing that is more like the clothing worn by students is inappropriate, such as jeans with holes or patches and jackets with inappropriate language limits the driver’s ability to command the necessary level of respect. Shoes must comply with school district safety standards. Some examples of shoes that may not meet safety standards might inlcude: Open-toed shoes Sandals Clogs Wooden-soled shoes Shoes with heels more the two inches high. The best shoes for driving: Have a flat sole Cover the entire foot Fasten securely

16 Supervisor and Fellow Employees
Your supervisor is a member of your safety team Cooperation is essential to transportation safety Communicate Report Comply Assist Because your supervisor and your co-workers are all members of the same safety team with you, transportation safety for your student passengers depends upon cooperation among all members of the team. Your supervisor is as concerned with the safety of your passengers as you are. The list of ways to cooperate with your supervisor given in the School Bus Drivers’ Training Manual can be summarized with these actions: Communicate Report Comply Assist

17 Transportation Director
Your advisor Your partner Their typical responsibilities include: Assigning drivers to buses Establishing bus routes, stops, and turnarounds Assigning passengers to buses Ensuring buses are safe to operate Appointing monitors/aids as needed Understand your working relationship and cultivate it! Consider the Transportation Director as your advisor and partner. The Transportation Director is especially helpful to you when you are working through discipline problems on your bus. As an instructor, be sure that you explain to drivers their working relationships to the Transportation Director.

18 What Do I Need to Do to Become a School Bus Driver in PA?
First Step - Initial requirements Second Step - Knowledge Test Authorization and School Bus Learner’s Permit Third Step – Training and skills testing requirements Health and safety requirements Driver recertification The Federal government requires each state to establish regulations for the training and professional development of school bus drivers. The regulations in Pennsylvania were designed to ensure that school bus drivers are: in good physical condition of good character skilled in the operation of their buses To become a certified bus driver in Pennsylvania, a person must: Meet several initial requirements Successfully complete training and testing requirements established by the state

19 First Step – Initial Requirements
Apply for a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) Knowledge Test Authorization/Learner’s Permit To apply for your Learner’s Permit you must: Be 18 years of age or older Have a School Bus Driver’s Physical Examination Form (DL-704) completed by a heath care provider or physician appointed by the local school board. If you successfully pass your physical exam, the physician will issue a Physical Examination Certificate (DL-742), good for one year. Complete the Commercial Learner’s Permit Application (DL-31CD) and submit it to PennDOT with the completed DL-704 and the applicable fee. If you do not meet the physical qualifications required, your application will be denied. These materials may be submitted to any PennDOT Driver License Center or may be mailed to PennDOT’s Special Driver Programs Unit at PO Box Harrisburg, PA The DL-31CD is available online and the DL-704 must be obtained through your employer.

20 Second Step – Knowledge Test Authorization and Learner’s Permit
If your documents are in order, and You have no license suspensions, then You are issued a CDL knowledge test authorization, and school bus learner’s permit. Remember, only the school bus learner’s permit is valid for operating a school bus. The knowledge test authorization is not valid for driving. Both the school bus learner’s permit and the knowledge test authorization are valid for one year. During this year you are required to complete all knowledge and skills testing. The knowledge examination consists of: Vision test Knowledge tests, which may include any or all of the following: general knowledge passenger endorsement school bus endorsement removal of the air brake restriction (if you are going to be driving a bus with air brakes).

21 Third Step – Training and Skills Testing Requirements
The School Bus Driver Training Course Skills examination: Three parts Safety inspection Basic skill test On-road driving test PA law requires certain commercial permit holders to wait at least 15 days before taking an examination to upgrade their driving privilege. Refer to Publications 117 and 52. Check the driver eligibility date on the bottom of your learner’s permit to determine the earliest you may take your driving test.

22 The School Bus Driver Training Course
20 hours of instruction 14 hours of classroom instruction 6 hours of in-bus training In-bus training must be one-on-one with a certified instructor The school bus driver training course is administered by certified instructors from local school districts, contractors, or Intermediate Units, under the supervision of PennDOT. The course is available to all public, private, and parochial school bus driver applicants.

23 The School Bus Driver Training Course
There are two ways to complete the training: Complete the full 20 hours of instruction, then attempt to pass the skills examination Complete 10 hours of instruction (7 classroom, 3 in-bus) and attempt to pass the skills examination If successful, complete the remaining 10 hours of instruction within 120 days A Certificate of Completion Card will then be issued, keep it! You will need it for your skills exam. First Method PennDOT recommends the first method of completing all training before attempting the skills examination. Second Method Check with your employer if they will be using this method. If choosing this method, the 10 hours of instruction taken before the skills examination are comprised of 7 hours of classroom instruction and 3 hours of in-bus instruction. The 10 hours of instruction taken after the skills examination are also comprised of 7 hours of classroom instruction and 3 hours of in-bus instruction. NOTE: All topics must be covered in both 10 hour courses of instruction. All in-bus instruction MUST be ONE-ON-ONE with a certified school bus driver instructor.

24 The School Bus Driver Training Course
Documentation for skills test: Valid driver’s license Valid PA CDL learner’s permit Valid Physical Examination Certificate (DL-742) Valid Certificate of Completion Card (DL-713) Current bus registration Proof of financial responsibility for bus Valid driver’s license for driver accompanying you Check the bottom of your learner’s permit to determine your driver test eligibility date. Refer to Pubs 117 and 52 When presenting yourself for the skills examination, you must be accompanied by a commercial driver who is at least 21 years of age and licensed to operate that vehicle. In the event that you do not successfully complete all of the skills testing requirements, you will also need to be accompanied by a commercial driver who is licensed to operate that vehicle.

25 The Skills Examination Will be Administered in Three Parts
First part – safety inspection Second part – basic skills test Third part – on-road driving test First Part – Safety Inspection If driving a bus with air brakes, performing an air brake check will be part of this examination. Inability to correctly perform an air brake check will result in an automatic failure of this portion of the test. Second Part – Basic Skills Test This part of the test will include a selection of maneuvers from these exercises: Simulated or actual student discharge Simulated or actual railroad crossing Forward stop Straight line backing Alley dock Parallel park (driver’s side) Parallel park (conventional) Right turn Backward serpentine Third Part – On-road Driving Test An automatic failure of this portion of the test will occur if you commit any traffic offense, run over a curb or sidewalk, or cause a crash. Refer to Publication 223.

26 The Skills Examination
Three attempts on a valid learner’s permit One attempt a day Failure of a portion requires retesting for just that portion Three failed attempts requires a new learner’s permit and all training requirements

27 The Skills Examination
Successfully completing the skills examination: Passing result credited to your driving record If all minimum requirements are met, you will receive a CDL with “S” and “P” endorsements You will receive a school bus endorsement card (valid for approximately one year) If you successfully complete the skills examination with only 10 hours of training: You have 120 days to complete the remaining 10 hours of training The school bus endorsement card is reissued annually, requiring an annual physical examination. For those passing the skills examination with half the training, the other half of the training is required within 120 days. If that second half of the training is not completed within the 120 days, the applicant’s school bus endorsement card is canceled. When operating a school bus, the driver is required to carry three credentials: Valid CDL with “S” and “P” endorsements Valid school bus endorsement card Valid physician’s certificate Additionally, the driver should also have available proof of financial responsibility and the current registration card for the bus.

28 Health and Safety Requirements
General Drug and alcohol testing for school bus drivers Driving a school bus requires the driver be fit with regard to the health and safety of the students being transported.

29 Health and Safety Requirements: General
To establish fitness you must: Comply with PA Department of Health and local regulations for communicable diseases Clean criminal history record Clean child abuse history record Limited traffic violations or crashes recorded Drug-free and Alcohol-free when driving Local school district requirements may be more stringent than these – your employer should be able to offer guidance regarding specific requirements such as the number of traffic violations on your record that are considered excessive. Also, remaining alcohol-free means not consuming any alcohol within 8 hours of driving a school bus.

30 Drug and Alcohol Testing for School Bus Drivers
Required by Federal government Drug testing by urine sample for: Marijuana Cocaine Opiates Amphetamines Phencyclidine Alcohol testing by breath analysis The Federal government has required drug and alcohol testing for school bus drivers since the 1990s. Companies or school districts with 50 or more employees were required to implement testing first, beginning January 1, Companies or districts with 49 or fewer employees were required to implement testing beginning January 1, 1996.

31 Drug and Alcohol Testing for School Bus Drivers
Federal government requires: Pre-employment testing Random testing Post-crash testing Reasonable suspicion testing Local policy dictates: Return-to-duty testing Follow-up testing State law requires testing after ALL Reportable crashes involving a school bus. Pre-employment testing All applicants must submit to testing at the time of application. Random testing Lottery-style selection process. After selection, the names are returned to the lottery and are eligible for subsequent testing. Post-crash testing Required for any crash involving a fatality, or Bodily injury requiring immediate medical attention away from the scene and the bus driver has been issued a citation, or Vehicle damage sufficient to require towing and the bus driver has been issued a citation. PA requires post-accident by state law after ALL reportable crashes Reasonable suspicion testing Done when a trained supervisor observes specific, contemporaneous, articulable objective facts that indicate current drug or alcohol use. Return-to-duty testing This is only conducted if an employer has a “second chance” policy. Discuss what your local policy is regarding a positive drug or alcohol test. If a “second chance policy” is in place, return-to-duty testing is conducted ONLY after a qualified Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) has determined the person is ready. Follow-up testing Recommended by a substance abuse professional after an assessment following a positive result or refusal to take a test. After return-to-duty testing, follow-up testing is conducted for a period of one to five years with a minimum of six unannounced tests during the first year. This testing is in addition to regular testing.

32 Driver Recertification
Recertification Process in General Annual physical examination Change of information on license

33 Driver Recertification General
PA law requires recertification every 4 years 10 hours of instruction 7 hours classroom instruction 3 hours in-bus instruction “S” endorsement skills and knowledge exam To be completed no more than 12 months prior to expiration date of school bus endorsement card When you successfully complete the training and testing requirements, a new school bus endorsement card will be issued 45 days before the expiration of your current “S” endorsement. If the skills and knowledge examination is failed three times, the applicant must surrender their current school bus endorsement card to the examiner. That applicant must then apply for a new learner’s permit and redo all the training and examination requirements. When taking the examination for recertification you will need: Valid driver’s license School bus recertification notice Valid physical examination certificate Current vehicle registration card for the bus driven during the examination Valid proof of financial responsibility for the bus driven during the examination You will be asked to sign a School Bus Driver’s Training Report Form (DL-714) to verify that you have met the minimum training requirements. If you have not, do not sign the form. Falsifying this form may be punishable by a fine and imprisonment.

34 Annual Physical Examination
Annual requirement Examination by a health care provider School bus endorsement card will not be renewed without physical exam

35 Change of Information on License
New camera card or photo license issued when: Adding or deleting an endorsement Removing a restriction Upgrading class of license When changing name or address on CDL or school bus endorsement card, submit form DL-80CD with appropriate fee

36 Key Resource…

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