Bus Safety Information
California's best kept secret? - The Yellow School Bus
The Yellow School Bus Transportation is the safest, most economocial and friendly method of transporting California's school children. According to the National Safety Council in 1996,
Yellow School Buses were:
- 72 times safer than your family automobile
- 8 times safer than passenger trains
- 8 times safet than scheduled airlines
- 4 times safer than transit buses
- 4 times safer than intercity buses
The Department of Transportation requires many additional safety features be built into school buses which are not found on any other vehicle, either public or private. School buses are inspected each day before going into service by the driver and once every 13 months by the California Highway Patrol Motor Carrier Division to ensure the buses are safe and properly maintained. Also, mechanics are required to perform exhaustive safety inspections every 45 days or 3000 miles, whichever comes first.
School bus drivers are required to receive a special license to drive a school bus and once they receive thier license they must get a minimum of 10 hours of continuing education or inservice hours each year. Additionally, they must either pass a first aid test administered by the California Highway Patrol or maintain a valid first aid card. School bus drivers are also required to have a physical done every two years until 65 years of age at which time they must get a physcial every year. Prior to being getting their Special Driving Certificate they must pass an exhaustive background by the California Highway Patrol. This includes checks made by the Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
Waiting at the Bus Stop
Make sure to arrive at the bus stop a few minutes earlier than the pick up time. When you arrive wait on the sidewalk or if no sidewalk is available, wait away from the edge of the roadway. While waiting for the bus to arrive, respect other people's property and do not engage in horseplay, pushing or shoving. If the bus does not arrive at the normal pick-up time, wait for awhile before leaving the stop. Buses get caught in traffic just like regular cars and sometimes they do run late, however, you can be sure that a bus will come by the stop and pick up students.
Boarding the Bus
As the bus pulls up to the stop make sure you are in a single file line at least 10 feet away. Do not approach the bus until the driver brings the bus to a complete stop, sets the brakes, and opens the door. If you are late to the bus and are across the street from the bus on the street that the bus is sitting on, wait for the bus driver to get out and escort you across the street. If you drop something while boarding the bus and it goes under, in front or behind the bus, DO NOT GO AFTER IT. TELL THE BUS DRIVER IMMEDIATELYand he/she will turn off the engine and assist you in getting the dropped item. Once you board the bus, quickly go to a seat and sit down. Make sure to keep all of your belongings either on the floor at your feet or in your lap. Move over close to the window so that someone else may sit down in the seat next to you. Do not save seats or otherwise block the seat from someone else.
Riding the Bus
Riding the bus is a privilege. While you are riding the bus you should talk quietly with your neighbor. Do not yell, scream or create any other type of distraction to the driver. When the bus approaches a railroad track stop talking and wait quietly until the bus is across the railroad tracks. If you are harassed, bullied or in any way bothered while on the bus, make sure to tell the driver immediately. If you are afraid to tell the driver, then talk to your parent(s) or teacher(s) and they can call Transportation to report the situation.
Exiting the Bus
As the bus approaches your bus stop or school make sure you gather all of your belongings. Wait until the bus has come to a complete stop, the driver has set the brakes and the front door is open. Then quickly stand up and without pushing or shoving walk down the aisleway to exit the bus. Make sure that there are no loose strings (drawstrings, shoe laces, etc.) hanging from your clothes. These could be caught in the stepwell as you exit the bus. As soon as you exit the bus immediately walk away from the bus unless you have to cross the street the bus is sitting on. If you must cross the street then wait for the driver to get off the bus with thier handheld stop sign and go out into the street. The driver will tell you when it's safe to cross the street. All drivers in the Redlands Unified School District are required to escort you across the street regardless of what grade you are in. Once the driver tells you it is okay to cross the street you must cross between the front of the bus and the bus driver. Never walk to the back of the bus and then cross the street.
Children leaving the bus should walk straight ahead, away from the bus, for at least 10 feet before turning in either direction. The front of the bus is the most dangerous area. Within the bright red zone at the front of the bus are a number of "blind spots" in which the driver cannot see a small child or one who is stooping to pick up a dropped article. It is important for young children to understand that all of the red area is dangerous because the driver may not be able to see them. The large red arrow at the top right shows the area of special danger from passing cars and other vehicles. It is against the law for a car to pass a stopped school bus, however, an occasional driver violates the law. Since the large bus hides children from the sight of a driver passing from the rear, this situation is particularly dangerous. A third area of special danger is the bright red area at the right rear of the bus. Small or stooping children in this danger area (from the right rear wheel to the back of the bus)cannot be seen by the driver. The safety rule for this danger zone is very simple: Children should stay out of it at all times
Tips For Motorists
When driving in neighborhoods with school zones, remember to slow down to 25 mph when children are present! Watch out for young people as they approach intersections. They don't always remember to look for traffic and
may step out right in front of you.
Slow down. Watch for children walking in the street, especially if there are no sidewalks in the neighborhood.
Obey all school bus laws. Remember you must "STOP WHEN RED LIGHTS FLASH".