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Sharing the Road with School Buses A Ten-Minute Training Topics Presentation.

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Presentation on theme: "Sharing the Road with School Buses A Ten-Minute Training Topics Presentation."— Presentation transcript:

1 Sharing the Road with School Buses A Ten-Minute Training Topics Presentation

2 Statistics An average of 19 school-age children die in school transportation related crashes each year5 occupants of school transportation vehicles and 14 pedestrians. More school- age pedestrians have been killed between the hours of 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. than any other time of day. – National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA)

3 Statistics Approximately 26 million elementary and secondary school children ride school buses daily throughout the United States, twice a day. – School Transportation News

4 Statistics A one-day study was conducted in the State of Virginia. –On that day, 3,394 Virginia motorists illegally passed a stopped school bus. Multiplying the results by a 180-day school year brings the total number of illegal passings [sic] to over 600,000 a year. –Of the 3,394 total in September, 187 were right- side passes, on the side of the bus students use to enter and exit. - NHTSA

5 Overview Although the standard yellow color wasnt uniformly adopted until 1939, school buses have been around since Annually, school buses transport about 26 million pupils to and from school, and do so with a superior track record of safety results.

6 Overview By design, school buses make frequent stops to load and unload students, and this can, unfortunately, slow down traffic during morning or afternoon rush hours.

7 Overview Frustrated or impatient motorists and commercial drivers may be tempted to pass a stopped school bus that is actively loading or unloading pupils. This is dangerous, and in all US states, illegal.

8 Overview By law, when a school bus stops to drop off or pick up students, motorists must stop too. –Improper passing around school buses is under reported and is a serious problem. –In one study, over 10,000 vehicles illegally passed stopped school buses in 58 of the 67 school districts involved in the statewide study. That worked out to an average of one illegal passing situation per bus per day.

9 Overview While most school districts work very hard to minimize the number of stops where children must cross the road, kids are at risk when drivers illegally pass school buses.

10 The Law Everyone who drives a vehicle must observe traffic safety rules around school buses. Every one of the 50 states has a law making it illegal to pass a school bus that is stopped to load or unload children.

11 The Law In every state, bus drivers use yellow flashing lights to alert motorists that they are preparing to stop to load or unload children. Bus drivers use red flashing lights and an extended stop sign arm to signal to motorists that the bus is stopped and that children are loading or getting off the bus.

12 The Law All states require the traffic in both directions to stop on undivided highways when students are getting on or off a school bus. –State law varies in what is required on a divided highway and what constitutes a divided highway. –However, in all cases on divided highways, traffic behind the bus (traveling the same direction as the bus) must stop.

13 The Law While the number of actual crashes caused by this violation is low, the potential for injury or death is high. Bus drivers have been painfully aware of the frequent disregard for this law and since the 1990s several states have commissioned studies to detail how many violations occur during a typical school day. The numbers are staggering – many people blow right past stopped school buses each day.

14 Lookout for Stops In a perfect world, all school bus stops would be off the main highway and clearly marked to provide additional notice to other motorists.

15 Basic Tips – Stops Unfortunately, many school bus stops are not clearly marked with signs or notices. Children may gather on the side of rural highways or suburban side streets while waiting for their bus to arrive.

16 Unpredictability of Children Children walking to or from their assigned pick-up/drop-off locations are comfortable with their surroundings (near their home); therefore, they may take more risks, ignore hazards, or fail to look both ways when crossing mid-block.

17 Unpredictability of Children Groups of children waiting for their bus may play games and ignore traffic conditions. Also, tardy children who may risk missing their bus may run and not pay attention while trying to get their drivers attention. This could cause them to run out into the roadway without looking.

18 Unpredictability of Children Children are easily distracted (i.e. hand held electronic devices, portable music players, etc.) and could jeopardize their own safety – you need to be extra alert on their behalf whenever possible.

19 Time of Day Remember that school buses may run at varied times throughout the day – field trips, sporting events and so on may place buses on the road as early as 6AM or after dusk when it may be harder to spot children. Additionally, most school bus operations occur during the half of the year when daylight is shortest.

20 Non-Traditional Vehicles In some areas of the country (typically near larger urban centers) it is possible to find pupils riding on transit system buses to get to and from school.

21 Non-Traditional Vehicles These transit buses do not have the same warning equipment (swing arms, flashing amber and/or red lights, etc.); therefore, it may not be obvious that students/pupils are on board.

22 Non-Traditional Vehicles Also, some special education facilities may use vans, sedans and other types of vehicles to transport children.

23 Non-Traditional Vehicles These vans might or might not be marked as transporting pupils, and they may follow the same procedures as traditional buses (i.e. an unmarked van might stop at a railroad grade crossing causing drivers behind them to slam on their brakes, etc.)

24 Summary The school season has begun throughout most of the country and kids are going to be on the streets waiting for their bus or walking home from the bus stop.

25 Summary The National Highway Transportation Highway Safety Administration has these suggestions: –Watch for children walking in the street and congregating near bus stops. –Be alert. Children may dart into the street with out looking for traffic. –Vehicles must stop when the bus displays flashing red warning lights and extends the stop signal arm. Vehicles may not pass until the flashing red lights and signals are turned off.

26 Summary Suggestions (continued): –Vehicles traveling in the same direction as the bus are always required to stop. In some states, vehicles moving in the opposite direction on a divided roadway are also required to stop. Check the law in your state. –Never pass on the right side of the bus, where children enter or exit. This is illegal and can have tragic results. –Violation of these laws can result in a citation and fine. In many places, school bus drivers can report passing vehicles.

27 This presentation was developed for the benefit of clients of SafetyFirst Systems. Receipt and/or possession of this slideshow does not convey any right to re-distribute beyond your own organization, or any right to create derivative works from this material for any purpose without the express permission of SafetyFirst Systems. If you have questions about the proper use of this or related documents, please contact SafetyFirst at

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