School Bus Safety

When it comes to school safety, we tend to focus on the time that children spend inside the building. While this is a significant amount of time each day, it’s also important to consider how they get to and from school. Approximately 25 million students nationwide ride the school bus, according to the National Safety Council. And the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that school buses are the safest form of student transportation. Setting ground rules for riders can help keep it that way.

In order to increase bus safety and limit driver distraction, students should review school bus rules regularly and before field trips. Whether your school is revising its current guidelines or starting from scratch, this list of essentials is a good starting point:

  • Stay seated until the bus comes to a complete stop.
  • Wait for the bus driver to extend the stop-arm signal and flash red lights before crossing in front of the bus.
  • Don’t consume food or drink (including gum and hard candy) on the bus due to possible choking risks.
  • Face forward.
  • Keep chatter and volume low.
  • Participate regularly in evacuation drills.
  • All body parts are to be kept inside the bus.
  • Keep the aisles clear.
  • Listen to the bus driver.
  • Use the handrail for entering and exiting.
  • Keep a safe distance from the bus wheels when entering and exiting.

(Reminder: Each bus company should have their own hiring standards and regulations. Ensure that your school aligns with the company’s policies as well as your state’s regulations.)

If your school uses other forms of transportation, review any additional risks involved with each method. You may be required by law to have guardians fill out liability waivers or permission slips before use — consult your legal team for each specific instance. To help with additional transportation questions, we’ve provided a list of transportation resources for you.

Filed under Education
Brian Gleason

Brian Gleason

Senior Risk Manager

Brian Gleason is a Senior Risk Manager at GuideOne Insurance, providing resources and consulting services to GuideOne clients. His goal is to keep his clients' valuable resources focused on their mission.

Prior to his career at GuideOne, Brian spent 20 years in risk management, disaster preparedness, and occupational health and safety for a university in southern California. He has responded to a wide variety of crises including earthquakes, building floods, bomb threats, and chemical spills. He has his MBA and is a Certified School Risk Manager with years of experience consulting with churches and non-profits in insurance, enterprise risk management, human resources issues, and emergency management.

© 2021 The GuideOne Center for Risk Management, LLC. All rights reserved. This material is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to give specific legal or risk management advice, nor are any suggested checklists or action plans intended to include or address all possible risk management exposures or solutions. You are encouraged to retain your own expert consultants and legal advisors in order to develop a risk management plan specific to your own activities.