School Bus Safety
The Ontario School bus industry has one of the best safety records in the passenger transportation industry. We believe that parents can help us make a difference and are encouraged to be with their children at the bus stop. There is simploy NO SUBSTITUTE for adult supervision.
Statistically speaking, your child is most vulnerable to serious injury in a school bus related accident before boarding or after leaving the vehicle, rather than while actually riding the bus. There are blind spots or “DANGER ZONES” around the school bus, which represent a real threat to a child who lingers there. And of course there is the ever-present danger from other traffic in the road while a child is crossing the street or waiting at a bus stop.
Our Commitment To Safety
Well-Maintained FleetMany of our buses are new and all are in optimal driving condition.
First Time Rider SafetyWe provide a special instruction for first time riders to feel safe & comfortable riding the bus.
Ongoing Driver TrainingIt is a priority that all of our drivers are up-to-date on the latest bus safety training.
Driver Background ChecksBefore employment, each of our drivers has completed an extensive criminal background check.
Marked Safety ZonesAll bus loading zones are carefully marked to allow parents and children know when it is safe to enter/depart.
No Student Left BehindEach of our drivers are trained to do a child check to ensure all children make it home safely.
Watch The First Time Bus Rider Video
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Know the DANGER ZONES:
- You must know the DANGER ZONE around the school bus.
- You should never enter the DANGER ZONE unless the driver has given you permission.
- If you can touch the bus, you are too close.
- If you must cross the street, know all the rules to cross safely.
- The 10 Giant Step rule is a good measurement for you to identify the DANGER ZONE around the school bus,
particularly when crossing in front of the bus.
- When near a bus, you must have the attention of the school bus driver.
- Children should never play around or near school buses.
- When leaving the bus, children must walk directly home.
Rules For Crossing The Street To The Bus:
- If possible, have an adult help you cross the road.
- Before crossing, be sure you can see the stop arm and lights flashing.
- Wait for the driver’s signal before you start to cross.
- Look and Listen both ways to be sure it is safe before you cross.
- Walk never run across the street.
- STAY OUT OF THE DANGER ZONE AT ALL TIMES.
- IF YOU DROP ANYTHING IN THE DANGER ZONE LEAVE IT. Never, never stop to pick it up.
Rules For Getting On The Bus Safely:
- Be at the bus stop on time. Never run to or from the bus.
- Wait at the designated stop in a safe place well back from the side of the road.
- Remember the DANGER ZONE around the bus.
The DANGER ZONE is anywhere close enough to the bus to touch it.
The driver cannot see you when you are in the DANGER ZONE.
- If you cross the street to get on the bus: When the bus comes, wait until it has come to a complete stop.
The bus driver will make sure all the traffic stops.
The stop arm will be out and the red lights will be flashing.
Watch the driver.
When the driver knows it is safe, he or she will signal you to cross but watch for traffic yourself.
Walk, don’t run.
- Hold the handrail as you get on the bus.
Don’t push or shove.
Rules For Safe School Bus Riding:
- Take your seats promptly and sit properly, facing forward at all times.
- Hold bags and parcels in your lap.
Do not stick your feet into the aisle: someone might trip.
- Keep your head and arms inside the bus.
Don’t throw anything out the windows or around in the bus.
- Talk quietly. The driver must concentrate to drive the bus safely.
- Save snacks for snack time at school or until you get home.
They may spill or you may choke if the bus goes over a big bump.
- No fighting, shouting or playing in or around the bus.
- Always follow the bus driver’s instructions.
Rules For Leaving The Bus Safely:
- When you leave the bus, hold the handrail and take two large steps away from the bus.
- When crossing the street in front of the bus, walk ahead at least ten giant steps (three metres).
Cross only when the driver gives a signal. Cross the street in single file.
- If you drop anything in the DANGER ZONE Leave it.
Never, ever stop to pick it up.
Tell the driver or other adult.
- If everyone is getting off the bus, the people at the front leave first. Do not push.
- Be familiar with the rules for emergencies.
- Listen to the driver’s instructions for the correct exit.
- Be calm, quiet and don’t panic.
- Leave your belongings behind.
- Exit seat by seat alternating rows.
- Leave the bus quickly without pushing, or shouting.
- Walk to a safe place and stay together.
Railway Crossing Evacuation:
- Listen to the driver’s instructions for the correct exit.
- Go away from the tracks as far as possible in a direction (at a 45-degree angle) away from the train to avoid being hit by debris from the crash.
- Go to a safe place and stay together.
Why are there no seatbelts on school buses?
The issue of seatbelts on school vehicles is one that has received a lot of attention. After considerable crash testing, Transport Canada determined that seatbelts might actually cause more harm to students on school buses.
Tests revealed that occupants who were wearing lap belts were more likely to suffer serious head and neck injuries than non-belted occupants. The belted occupant tended to jack-knife and hit the seat in front with the full force on their heads alone. As well, shoulder belts cannot be adjusted to safely restrain smaller children.
Containing students between high-backed, heavily padded, closely spaced seats provides occupant protection. A high, padded barrier replaced the old front row of seats. These features are part of a concept collectively referred to as “compartmentalization”. In other words, by giving the occupants a relatively confined environment to move in, and ensuring the padding within the environment is thick enough to absorb the pressure of impacts when required, injuries are kept to a minimum.
Why are school buses safer?
Your child is 16 times safer riding on the school bus than he/she would be riding in a car. This conclusion is based on a comparison of the injury rates per passenger-kilometer of travel for school bus occupants versus all motor vehicle occupants. This estimate assumes that school buses carried an average of 20 occupants per vehicle, while all other motor vehicles carried an average of two per vehicle. (Background Paper on School Bus Occupant Protection in Canada, Transport Canada, Jan. 1990)
- The size and bright yellow colour of buses make them easily visible.
- School buses have many safety features designed to protect passengers from impact:
- The floor is raised
- The window glass is shatter-proof
- There are strengthened reinforcements along the sides of the bus
- School buses are designed to keep students compartmentalized, which means they have seats with high backs positioned close together, filled with energy-absorbing material, and anchored to the floor.
- All buses built since 1980 meet safety standards developed by the Canadian Standards Association and set by Transport Canada.
- There is a high penalty (six demerit points and substantial fine) for motorists who fail to stop for a school bus when required by law.
- School bus drivers receive special training and licensing, rigorous examinations and must maintain a good driving record. 5. School buses stop at all railway crossings.
- According to Transport Canada, children on school buses are 16 times LESS likely to be injured in road collisions than occupants of any other vehicle.
- By Law, a school bus driver must conduct a daily safety inspection of over 50 items including such items as the engine, fluids, lights, tires, and safety devices.
- To obtain their licenses, school bus drivers need at least 20 hours of specialized training followed by written exams and a road test. There are also periodic re-examinations on traffic laws and safety procedures to keep drivers sharp.
- In addition to regular maintenance, every school bus must have a thorough safety inspection twice a year.