The objective of a school bus patrol is to assist in transporting students to and from school safely. If such transportation programs are properly organized, they provide students training in the safe practices applicable to all bus riders and pedestrian roadway users.
When establishing a bus patrol program, it is not enough to simply define a set of rules governing student conduct. To further support the program, there must be an educational effort emphasizing proper conduct for entering, riding and exiting the bus.
The Role of the School
The Administrator – Principal
- Selects the patrol advisor.
- Ensures bus drivers, patrol advisors, bus patrol members and all other school staff understand their joint responsibility for bus safety and work cooperatively.
- Basic rules governing the school’s bus transportation program should be printed and distributed to teachers, bus drivers, parents and students. They should include:
- Laws governing school bus operation.
- Procedures for safe walking to and from the bus stop.
- Rules for student behavior while waiting at bus stops.
- Procedures for students to follow when they must cross the roadway before entering/exiting the bus at designated stops.
- How long the driver will wait for a student.
- Roles and responsibilities.
- What to do in an emergency situation.
The Teacher – Patrol Advisor
- The patrol advisor selects patrollers.
- Should begin the school year by riding on buses several times and discussing problems with the driver and bus patrol members on a continuing basis throughout the year.
- Schedule bus patrol meetings once per month and encourage bus drivers to attend.
- School bus patrollers should be considered a branch of the regular safety patrol and serve under one patrol advisor.
- Instruct patrol members on the rules of operation, how emergency exits and fire extinguishers work and first aid.
- Assign bus patrol members to a designated seat.
- Arrange training sessions for those coming into service.
The Bus Driver
- Is responsible for the safety of the bus and passengers.
- When students must cross the highway to board the bus, it is advisable for them to wait for the arrival of the bus before crossing.
- The bus driver observes traffic from all directions.
- When it is safe for the students to cross, a “go” signal should be directed to the patrol member.
- The bus driver should not depend on the patrol member to decide when it is safe to cross.
- Students should be taught only to cross in front of the bus.
- Is responsible for activating all warning devices and lights.
- Should not back the bus while pedestrians are in the vicinity, unless proper adult supervision is present to guide the bus driver. Patrollers are not allowed to assist in the backing of a bus.
- Makes sure the bus is equipped with a fire extinguisher, fully equipped first aid kit, red flags and flares.
- Should attend bus patrol meetings regularly and assist in training.