School Bus Driver Training
bus drivers know the rules to make every bus stop a safe stop. They
think of every child on their bus as one of "their kids" and
would do anything in their power to make sure nothing bad happens to any
of "their kids". Unfortunately, accidents happen. December
16th, 2004 our 6 yr old son Jacob was killed when he was run over by his
own school bus. We started researching bus safety after Jacob's
accident. We wanted to know why this happened and how to keep it from
happening again. When we looked at the details of Jacob's accident we
found several small problems that led to a big tragedy.
Look at every stop on your route and ask yourself these questions.
had to walk down the side of the bus toward the back, then step off a
curb before turning back to home. He was in the danger zone longer than
he should have been and the driver was not able to keep his eyes on him
at all times.
A driver is supposed to count, recount, and count again.
a perfect world it is that easy. In the real world life happens. The day
Jacob was killed the driver was distracted and lost sight of Jacob. The
national safety rule book states that "if you lose sight of a child
you are to lock down your bus and get off to physically locate the
child". Drivers are told they should never get off the bus while
students are still on the bus. Some
where we have to find a middle ground to make sure all the children are
safe, those on the bus as well as those off the bus. I think the best
solution is to make sure always do your head count and teach your kids
to help you with your head count. Teach them to stay together, to stop
when they reach their safe place, and to give you a wave before you move
the bus or they move on toward home. Make it a team effort to keep
you pull away from a stop you have to check and recheck all your
mirrors. This is to make sure traffic is clear and that no child is near
the bus. On the day of Jacob's accident a skate boarder skated down the
hill past the bus on the left. This distracted the driver for a moment.
He later said he didn't remember checking his right side mirror. His
supervisor said he had to have checked them because it was his habit to
check them. I know that sometimes when something becomes habit you don't
have to give it much attention. Don't let your mirror check become such
a habit that you don't actually see what you are looking at. Where Jacob
fell his driver should have been able to see him. When the driver became
distracted he should have gone back to the beginning and started his
mirror check again. Don't let yourself become complacent. If your safety
check starts to become a habit, stop, take a deep breath, and start
over. Make sure you really see what you are looking at.
year you are required to attend several meetings about bus safety. You
have special summer training sessions before going back to school, bus
safety week in October, and refresher meetings throughout the year.
Sometimes it feels like you are hearing the same thing over and over.
Don't let it just go in one ear and out the other. Become active in your
own education, but don't just stop there, become a teacher! Teach every
one of your kids about the danger zone and how to be safe around the
bus. Send letters home to the parents to make sure they know about bus
safety and how they can help you keep their kids safe. Don't just tell
the kids to sit down and be quiet, talk to them. Tell them why it is
important, that any distraction to you can be an injury to one of their
friends. Education is the
key. Jacob had never been to a bus safety assembly; in fact his 16 year
old brother had never been to one. Make sure none of your kids slip
through the cracks. Share your education with them and their parents.
The more they know the easier your job will be.
The Danger Zone:
The Danger Zone:
danger zone is an area around the bus where a driver may not be able to
see. This area extends up to 10 feet on each side of the bus and up to
15 feet from the front and the back of the bus. This is something that
you know. Most parents have never heard of the danger zone and in the
past a lot of children had never heard of it either. Jacob died in the
danger zone. It is the most dangerous area for a child to be. Make sure
you are always aware of the danger zone. More importantly make sure all
of your kids know about it. We recommend that every bus have a danger
zone poster displayed where the children see it as they exit the bus. We
also ask that the bus driver remind each child to be aware of the danger
zone every time they exit the bus.
Copyright © 2010 J.A.C.O.B.