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In-Service Safety Series
ADMINISTRATOR GUIDE
In-Service Safety Series
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OVERVIEW

Intended Audience

The intended audience is experienced school bus drivers. This is an in-service training program, not a training program for new drivers. It is anticipated that state and local pupil transportation agencies will adapt the series to local requirements. Series Content The School Bus Driver In-Service Safety Series has seven modules. The modules are:
  • Driver Attitude
  • Student Management
  • Highway-Rail Grade Crossing Safety
  • Vehicle Training
  • Knowing Your Route
  • Loading and Unloading
  • Transporting Infants and Toddlers.
Series Length Each of the modules of the School Bus Driver In-Service Safety Series is designed to be presented alone. The modules vary in length from 50 minutes to 1 hour and 30 minutes. Two of the modules require additional practice time (see the individual module descriptions for more information). Some of the modules support each other in their content and could be presented together. Here are some possible pairings:
  • Driver Attitude
    Student Management
  • Student Management
    Loading and Unloading
    Transporting Infants and Toddlers
  • Highway-Rail Grade Crossing Safety
    Knowing Your Route
    Vehicle Training
  • Student Management
    Loading and Unloading
  • Knowing Your Route
    Loading and Unloading
  • Loading and Unloading
    Transporting Infants and Toddlers

Module Descriptions

Each module is designed to be taught alone. The modules do not include time for introductions or an ice-breaker exercise. It is assumed that the series will be offered at the local level to groups of people who know each other. If this is not the case, time will have to be added for introductions.

Driver Attitude
Length: 50 minutes

The school bus driver sets the stage for how things will go on the school bus and throughout the students’ day. Safety starts with the driver and a driver’s attitude predicts how the students will behave; a driver’s “baggage” shouldn’t get carried on to the school bus. School bus drivers also need to pay attention to other drivers and their attitude changes and know what to do to get help. At the completion of this module, participants will be able to:

1. State the impact the school bus drivers’ attitude has on the way they drive and handle the bus, how the students behave, and how the drivers feel about the job

2. Describe what they need to do to reduce stress on the job.

Student Management
Length: 1 hour

The school bus driver must recognize that control of the bus is critical. The school bus driver has two responsibilities: driving safely and not being distracted. If the driver is distracted by and/or loses control of the students, it is a safety problem. At the completion of this module, participants will be able to:

1. Explain the importance of keeping control of student behavior on the bus

2. State the standards for behavior in his/her school district

3. Describe the situations that put school bus drivers most at risk

4. Describe ways to maintain acceptable student behavior on the bus.

Highway-Rail Grade Crossing Safety
Length: 1 hour 15 minutes

The school bus driver must be aware of the potential dangers at highway-rail grade crossings. The school bus driver must know how to cross a highway-rail intersection safely. At the completion of this module, participants will be able to:

1. Describe the potential dangers at highway-rail grade crossings

2. Explain the appropriate procedures to make such a crossing safely.

NOTE: This module can be substituted for an Operation Lifesaver presentation, if you are unable to arrange one.

Vehicle Training
Length: 1 hour 30 minutes (without practice session)
Practice session: 20-30 minutes per person per vehicle

School bus drivers must be familiar with all of the buses they drive. At the completion of this module, participants will be able to:

1. Describe what handling characteristics they must learn about each bus

2. Recognize when the mirrors on the bus are correctly adjusted

3 Use the mirrors to gauge the space around the bus and to back up the bus

4. Pass the wheelbase test (know how much room they need to turn).

Knowing Your Route
Length: 50 minutes

The school bus driver must be completely familiar with the route he or she drives. The school bus driver must know what to do with hazards on that route. Hazards are defined as those things that pose a threat to school bus safety. For example, not all route intersections are hazards but intersections that have limited sight or high crash occurrence are route hazards. At the completion of this module, participants will be able to:

1. Identify the potential driving hazards on their own regular routes

2. Describe what they can do to eliminate, avoid, or deal with those hazards

3. Explain what to do for field or activity trips when the route is not familiar.

Loading and Unloading
Length: 1 hour 15 minutes (without film)

In every crash involving a child being struck by a school bus, driver error was indicated: The driver “lost” the child during loading or unloading. If the driver had done the job correctly, the student wouldn’t have been struck. At the completion of this module, participants will be able to:

1. State what the danger zones are

2. Explain the importance of the danger zones

3. Teach students about the danger zones

4. Describe ways to keep track of students in the danger zones.

Transporting Infants and Toddlers
Length: 1 hour (without practice session)

School bus drivers need guidance on how to deal with child safety restraint systems (CSRSs). The safest way to transport a young child is in a CSRS. These include portable child safety seats, integrated (built-in) child safety seats, and other devices such as safety restraint vests. This curriculum focuses on the use and installation of child safety seats. For the remainder of the curriculum we will refer to Child Safety Restraint Systems as child safety seats (CSSs). School bus drivers need to know how to properly install a CSS on the bus and a child in a CSS. At the completion of this module, participants will be able to:

1. State the local school district’s policy on the need for and the use of CSSs

2. Describe how a school bus must be equipped to use a CSS

3. Install a CSRS properly and install a child properly in a CSS

4. Take action if a CSS cannot be installed.



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