There is nothing more important at the end of your route than your post trip inspection! Children are prone to falling asleep on vehicles, checking your bus immediately at your earliest convenience is going to cause less stress for everyone should you find a child cuddled up with their backpack in a seat.
- AM Trips: When making your last drop at your school, check the bus while you are still parked.
- PM Trips: Check you bus after your last drop off. If you aren’t in a spot that you can be parked for a short period of time, pull off to the side of the road to begin your bus inspection.
The proper way to inspect your bus is to walk from the back to the front of the vehicle. Check in between each seat and pay close attention to the bus’ interior surroundings. Doing a quick “sweep” of the bus is not effective. As we all know, some children are smaller than the backpacks they wear and a quick scan of the aisle will not tell you that all students are dropped off. These first few days of school the smaller children just starting their bus riding adventure are going to need extra guidance and reminders.
Loading/unloading is the most dangerous time for bus drivers and students. There is so little margin for error when there’s a child outside your bus. Here are some ways to prevent unnecessary accidents.
1. Develop a universal sign for your students needing to cross in front of the bus.
2. Ensure your mirrors are set to see your danger zone areas,
3. Tell your students if they drop an item close to or under the bus to leave it and notify you.
4. Teach your students to stay 10 giant steps away from the bus when loading/unloading.
5. Never move the bus until you are sure it is safe to do so.
Winter is arriving once again, Yeah!! Soon enough school bus drivers will need to take extra steps to ensure the safety of students on their way to and from school. In order to be properly prepared, take a few of these steps to keep your drivers, students and buses safe.
- Slow Down. In bad weather conditions it is better to keep your students safe then to try and run on schedule.
- Never Take Chances. If there is a concern that something does not look safe then it probably isn’t.
- Anticipate poor or dangerous road conditions. Keep greater distances between you and other objects, which will give you more time to react to things you may encounter on your route.
- Control your skid. If your vehicle goes into a skid, steer into the direction of the skid but don’t over compensate.
- Drive Defensively. Be careful of other motorist when entering intersections and always be aware of the traffic around you.
- Keep windshield clear of snow/ice. Be sure your headlights, wiper blades and defrosters are all in top working condition. Make sure that nothing is blocking your heater/defroster vents.
- Get the feel of the road. In safe places, try your brakes occasionally while driving slowly. This will help you understand how slippery the road is and you can adjust your speed to the road and weather conditions. Never make any sudden moves or slam on your brakes or accelerator.
- Bridges/Overpasses. Remember that condensation on the pavement of bridges and over-passes freeze before the rest of the roadway.
Thank you for all each of you do for Palmer Bus Service, I appreciate all your hard work.
Stay safe and warm out there!