West Clermont Local School District
Administrative Guidelines
 

8605 - 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 that are designed to maximize the safety of students.

 

A.

Each bus driver must maintain effective communications with the third party contractor’s Transportation Coordinator 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 two-way communication.

   
 

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

   
 

Each driver is to test the equipment by making contact with his/her supervisor prior to the start of each run.

   
 

B.

Each bus driver will be provided a manual containing all information relating to the safety and welfare of student riders. Each driver is required to thoroughly review the information in the manual, and should ask the third party’s Transportation Coordinator if s/he has any questions concerning the manual's content or how the manual is to be used.

     
 

C.

Cellular telephones, including hands-free and wireless devices, whether provided by the Board as equipment on the bus or personally owned by a bus driver, shall not be used by the bus driver while the bus is in motion or while the driver is supervising the loading or unloading of students, except in cases of extreme emergency.

   
 

D.

At the completion of each bus run, the driver must conduct a complete walk-through of the bus to verify that no student remains on the vehicle.

   
 

E.

The Transportation Office 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 that require special attention.

   
 

F.

In addition, the Transportation Coordinator shall:

   
 

1.

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

   
 

2.

verify 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.

verify 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.

verify 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 as 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 verify 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 Transportation Coordinator shall organize and conduct three (3) emergency exit drills for all students who ride school buses to and from school.

 

A.

Each of the following three (3) emergency procedures shall be conducted at least once annually:

   
 

1.

everyone exits through the front entrance door;

   
 

2.

everyone exits through the rear emergency door; and

   
 

3.

front half exits through the front door and rear half exits through the rear door.

   
 

B.

All drills shall be arranged and scheduled by the Transportation Coordinator in cooperation with building principals. School bus drivers will conduct the drill sessions.

   
 

C.

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

   
 

D.

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.

   
 

E.

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

   
 

F.

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.

   
 

G.

The driver shall report to the third party service provider that a drill has been conducted.

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 Transportation Coordinator (school official).

   
 

B.

The Transportation Coordinator and the Director of Operations 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 shall be followed.

Railroad Grade Crossings

 

A.

General

   
 

1.

The driver of any school bus, with or without passengers, shall operate the bus in a safe manner while approaching and stopping at a railroad crossing and verify that the necessary precautions are taken to see and hear any trains.

   
 

2.

The driver shall cross the railroad tracks only after complying with the procedures set forth in paragraph D below.

   
 

3.

After a train has passed the crossing, the bus driver shall not drive the bus onto any tracks until the driver is certain that no train, hidden by the first train, is approaching on an adjacent track.

     
   
 

4.

Crossing when flashing or audible signals malfunction is only permitted when done in accordance with R.C. 4511.62. Specifically, a driver may cross if signaled by a law enforcement officer or flagperson that it is permissible to cross.

   
 

5.

The bus driver must never assume that automatic signals or other devices are completely reliable.

   
 

B.

Weather conditions - during wet, stormy or foggy weather, before placing part of the bus on the tracks, the driver must know that the crossing can be made in safety.

   
 

C.

Behavior of passengers at railroad crossings - when any school bus is stopped for any railroad track, all passengers must be silent until the crossing is completed. A signal for silence shall be given by the school bus driver approximately three hundred feet from the crossing.

   
 

D.

School bus railroad crossing procedures:

   
 

1.

Traffic checks shall be made upon the approach to the railroad crossing so that the driver can observe traffic and reduce speed far enough in advance of the stop to avoid trapping other motorists in panic stops or rear-end collisions with the bus. On multiple roadways, all stops must be made in the far right lane whenever possible and practical.

   
 

2.

At approximately three hundred feet from the railroad crossing, the driver must signal the passengers for silence, turn off radios and other noisy equipment (fans, etc.), turn off the warning lamp master switch if necessary, and actuate the strobe light, if available and if conditions warrant. Radios and other noisy equipment shall remain off until the bus has cleared the railroad crossing.

   
 

3.

Actuate the hazard lights at least one hundred feet from the railroad crossing, unless prohibited by local ordinance. No other signs or signals, except the strobe light, will be actuated from the bus while stopped or stopping at the railroad crossing.

     
 

4.

For improved vision and hearing, open the driver's window (at the driver's left) just prior to stopping.

   
 

5.

Stop the bus within fifty (50) feet and not less than fifteen (15) feet from the nearest rail. Set the parking brake.

   
 

6.

Shift the gear lever into neutral. This applies to buses with either standard or automatic transmission.

   
 

7.

Open the service door and look and listen not less than twice in both directions for an approaching train, engines, or train cars.

   
 

8.

Shift into the proper gear when the crossing can be made safely and there is sufficient space on the other side of the railroad crossing.

   
 

9.

Close the door, continue to look for trains, engines, or train cars in hazardous proximity of the bus, and listen for any audible signals.

   
 

10.

Release parking brake and proceed across the railroad crossing when safe to do so. Do not shift gears while crossing.

   
 

11.

When the bus has safely cleared the last rail and is approximately fifty (50) feet from the crossing:

   
 

a.

turn off the hazard lights and strobe light;

   
 

b.

close window, if desired;

   
 

c.

turn on warning lamp master switch and heater fans, if needed;

   
 

d.

turn on radios.

   
 

E.

Traffic checks shall be made to identify any hazards by motorists trying to pass the bus while completing the railroad crossing.

 

F.

Stop exemptions granted by the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio

   
 

1.

While the driver of a bus or other school vehicle is required to stop at any and all railroad crossings, such requirement does not apply to an "exempt crossing" where the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) has granted a stop exemption authorizing and approving school buses and other school vehicles to cross the tracks without making the required stop at the railroad crossing.

   
 

2.

However, irrespective of whether a railroad crossing is designated as an exempt crossing, a driver of a bus or other school vehicle is required to stop at such railroad crossing when warning lights are activated and/or when trains are operated over the railroad crossing.

   
 

3.

An exempt crossing is effective only when appropriate signs giving notice of the stop exemption are erected at the crossing.

Tornado

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

 

A.

contact Transportation 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 local law enforcement 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 Coordinator, 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 Transportation Coordinator to have the bus towed/repaired.

Inclement Weather

Whenever the weather forecast indicates inclement weather approaching, the Transportation Coordinator is to inspect the condition of the roads. If the forecast relates to the current school day, s/he should notify the Superintendent, or his/her designee, 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:

 

A.

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

   
 

B.

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 and the police 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.

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

   
 

F.

Make a full report of the disturbance to the transportation office upon completion of the trip.

Fueling

The following procedures are to be followed when fueling the school bus:

 

A.

The bus shall not be fueled while the engine is running.

   
 

B.

Smoking shall not be permitted on the school bus or while fueling.

   
 

C.

Students shall not be on board while the bus is being fueled.

   
 

D.

Cell phones shall not be used while the bus is being fueled.

Approved 7/1/15