Decatur County Community Schools
Administrative Guidelines
 

8600B - BUS SAFETY PROCEDURES

Proper transportation of students is a matter of continuing concern and it is imperative that all staff members associated with student transportation adhere to the following guidelines which have been designed to maximize the safety of students.

 

A.

Each bus driver must maintain effective communications with the Central Office or Transportation Director at all times and particularly when s/he encounters any situation that is out of the ordinary. To that end, each bus shall be equipped with a C.B. radio or cellular telephone.

   
 

Cellular telephones shall not be used by the bus driver while the bus is in motion. In cases of a bona fide emergency, if possible, the driver should move to the side of the road and stop the vehicle before using the cellular telephone.

   
 

Such device is to be kept in operating condition at all times.

     
 

B.

At the completion of each bus run, the driver is to do a complete walk-through of the bus to make sure that no student has remained.

     
 

1.

The walk through must completed before the driver exits the bus.

     
 

2.

The driver shall report all instances of a student or passenger being left on the bus to the Superintendent or designee.

     
 

3.

The Superintendent or designee shall report all instances of a student or passenger being left on the bus to the Indiana Department of Education not later than five (5) working days after the incident occurred.

     
 

C.

The Bus Driver/Transportation Director shall maintain a record of each student rider for ready reference whenever a question arises about a student. Such a record shall include name, address, telephone number, name and location of contact person, the bus driver's name and the number of the bus the student rides. This record shall also contain confidential information regarding physical and/or mental characteristics of the student which would require special attention.

     
 

D.

In addition, the Transportation Director shall:

     
 

1.

conduct routine and periodic surveys of the Corporation area and routes to determine the safety of current bus routes and bus stops;

     
 

2.

ensure that each bus driver's records of qualifications and certification are up-to-date and on file in the Superintendent's office with a physician's certificate that the bus driver has passed an annual physical;

     
 

3.

ensure compliance with all Department of Education safety specifications for school buses as well as statutory requirements for first-aid kits, fire extinguishers, traffic flares, and other safety features;

     
 

4.

maintain and update a booklet containing traffic rules and regulations and distribute a copy to each driver;

     
 

5.

ensure that there is no smoking or drinking of alcoholic beverages on any school bus or in the refueling area.

Evacuation of Bus

The following procedures are to be followed when evacuating the school bus.

 

A.

Stop bus, if not already stopped, off the road and out of the mainstream of traffic, if possible.

     
 

B.

Put on emergency flasher lights and immediately issue orders to which exit is to be used.

     
 

C.

Maintain calm and direct students to "walk - not run," not to take books, lunch boxes, etc., and to be careful when disembarking.

     
 

D.

Send someone or call for help after making sure that all students are evacuated.

     
 

E.

Form students into a group at least 100 feet from the bus and as far away from traffic as feasible.

     
 

F.

Check bus list to ensure all students are accounted for and are in good condition.

     
 

G.

Emergency evacuation of disabled students may require modification of the above procedures.

Evacuation Drills

The Principals shall organize and conduct at least one (1) evacuation drill per semester for all students who ride school buses to and from school.

 

A.

All school bus passenger evacuation drills shall meet the following minimum standards:

     
 

1.

Be completed in two (2) minutes or less.

     
 

2.

Be conducted within forty-five (45) school days of the beginning date of each semester.

     
 

3.

Use only emergency exit doors or service door for the passenger evacuation drill.

     
 

4.

Driver must be present at all passenger evacuation drills.

     
 

B.

At the completion of each school year, the bus passenger evacuation drills for the Corporation shall have included the following:

     
 

1.

The use of all emergency exit doors and service door.

     
 

2.

One (1) drill with the school bus driver not directing the passenger evacuation drill.

     
 

3.

Each student receiving appropriate instruction for the passenger evacuation drill.

     
 

C.

All drills shall be arranged and scheduled by the Building Principals in cooperation with Transportation Director. School bus drivers will conduct the drill sessions.

     
 

D.

Drills shall be held on school property when possible and not on the bus route.

     
 

E.

The driver shall stay in the bus during evacuation drills. The parking brake must be set, ignition turned off, and transmission in gear or park.

     
 

F.

Children shall not take lunch boxes, books, etc., when they leave the bus.

     
 

G.

Students shall assemble at a distance of at least 100 feet from the bus in an "emergency drill" and remain there until given further directions.

     
 

H.

Documentation of the bus passenger evacuation drill shall be reported by the driver to the Transportation Director.

     
 

I.

Documentation of the bus passenger evacuation drill for the Corporation shall be reported by the Transportation Director to the Indiana Department of Education by June 30 of each year.

     
 

J.

Any student exempted from physical participation in a passenger evacuation drill shall have documentation on file at the school.

Safety Belt Instruction

A school bus driver operating a school bus that is equipped with safety belts meeting the standards set forth in I.C. 9-19-10-2, not including the driver's safety belt, shall at least once a semester provide instruction to the passengers on the school bus on the proper fastening of the safety belt.

 

A.

The instruction shall include the following:

     
 

1.

Proper position of the safety belt when fastened.

     
 

2.

How tight the safety belt should be when fastened.

     
 

3.

Improper safety belt placement.

     
 

4.

Requirements for use of safety belts.

     
 

5.

Consequences of failure to use or improperly using safety belts.

     
 

B.

Documentation of the completed training for each bus shall be reported to the Transportation Director

     
 

C.

Documentation of the completed training for the Corporation shall be reported by the Transportation Director to the Indiana Department of Education by June 30 of each year.

Accidents

 

A.

In the event of an accident involving the bus, the bus driver shall:

     
 

1.

evaluate the need for medical assistance;

     
 

2.

if necessary, evacuate the students to a safe area away from the scene of the accident;

     
 

3.

notify the local law enforcement agency (law enforcement agency);

     
 

4.

notify the Superintendent/Transportation Director (school official).

     
 

B.

The Superintendent/Transportation Director (school official) shall collect the data concerning the accident, notify the parents, and if necessary, arrange for another bus to transport the students.

     
 

C.

In the event of a serious accident, the procedures stipulated by the local law enforcement agency (law enforcement agency) shall be followed.

Railroad Crossings

Before crossing a railroad track at grade, the driver shall:

 

A.

stop the vehicle not more than fifty (50) feet and not less than fifteen (15) feet from the nearest rail;

     
 

B.

activate hazard warning lights, turn off all interior switches including fans, heaters, and radios;

     
 

C.

open passenger door and driver-side window and, while stopped, listen and look in both directions along the track for an approaching train or signals indicating a train approach;

     
 

D.

proceed only after ascertaining that no train is approaching and using a gear that does not require changing gears while crossing the tracks.

The driver does not have to follow the above procedure if:

 

A.

the track is abandoned as designated in the Corporation's route plan, or

     
 

B.

there is a police officer or traffic-control signal directing the traffic to proceed.

Tornado

In the event of a tornado sighting or warning, the bus driver shall:

 

A.

Contact Central office;

     
 

B.

pull the bus off the roadway;

     
 

C.

evacuate the bus;

     
 

D.

bring the first aid kit;

     
 

E.

take students to the nearest building, if possible;

     
 

F.

if in the open, take the students to a ditch, ravine, or embankment which is at least 200 feet from the bus;

     
 

G.

instruct students to lie down on their knees with their hands clasped behind their heads;

     
 

H.

once the danger is past, assess students for any needed medical attention;

     
 

I.

contact the Central Office as soon as possible.

Bus Breakdown

In the event of a bus breakdown, the bus driver shall:

 

A.

move the bus off the roadway, if possible;

     
 

B.

notify the Transportation Director (school official), who shall arrange for another bus to transport the students;

     
 

C.

evacuate the students to a safe area, if necessary;

     
 

D.

stay close to the scene until assistance arrives;

     
 

E.

assist in transferring students to the backup bus;

     
 

F.

arrange, together with the Transportation Director (transportation director) to have the bus towed/repaired.

Inclement Weather

Whenever the weather forecast indicates inclement weather approaching, the transportation supervisor is to inspect the condition of the roads. If the forecast relates to the current school day, s/he should notify the Superintendent in sufficient time so students can be transported home before road conditions would make such transportation hazardous. If the forecast relates to the next school day, the transportation supervisor is to make his/her recommendation to the Superintendent prior to 5:00 AM. The recommendation should be based on both personal observation of the roads and discussion with the Highway Department and/or the State Highway Patrol or Sheriff.

If transportation is cancelled, bus drivers will be notified by means of the telephone chain and parents by means of the radio and TV stations.

Dangerous and Illegal Weapons

The safety of students and staff is of paramount importance, and control of dangerous and/or illegal weapons is a particularly sensitive and critical responsibility. No weapon or other device that poses a danger to anyone in the vehicle shall be permitted. If a staff member discovers such a weapon or device, s/he should take the following actions:

 

A.

Radio for help immediately.

     
 

B.

Isolate the student, if possible, and if necessary, evacuate the bus.

     
 

C.

Avoid attempts to disarm the student unless the situation appears to be life-threatening.

Quelling a Disturbance

If, during a bus trip, any students become unruly or two (2) or more students become involved in a fight or create a disturbance, the driver should proceed as follows:

 

A.

Stop the bus and command the students to stop the disturbance and sit properly in their seats.

     
 

B.

Do not attempt to use physical force to quell the disturbance or dispossess students of any weapon or threatening object unless assured that such action is likely to be successful and not endanger the other students or the driver.

     
 

C.

If the students do not obey, drive the bus to a safe area while notifying the transportation office of the disturbance and request assistance.

     
 

D.

If the disturbance is or may be jeopardizing the safety and well-being of the other students, evacuate all uninvolved students from the bus using the standard evacuation procedure.

     
 

E.

Do not, under any circumstances, discharge an unruly student from the bus other than at his/her regular bus stop, a law enforcement agency, or a Corporation school, and only then, if an official at that location takes custody of the student(s).

     
 

F.

Make a full report of the disturbance to the Transportation Director upon completion of the trip.

I.C. 9-21-12-5
515 I.A.C. 1-10-1 and -2

Revised 4/12/17

© Neola 2016