Newsletters > Transportation Safety Newsletter September 2014
Transportation Safety Newsletter September 2014

Sep 18, 2014       TRANSPORTATION SAFETY NEWSLETTER       September 2014

Get in S.T.E.P.-Safety Takes Every Person

Being safe at our jobs is a top priority in school transportation. This includes safety in the bus parking lot, protecting the children on our buses with good decisions, and defensive driving skills.
The school bus yard is no place to be lacking safety. Using caution when backing includes sounding our horns and being aware there are people walking in the bus yard. Be cautious when driving through the bus parking lot and when walking in the bus yard try to wear bright clothing, especially during darker hours.
With the upcoming change in seasons make sure your defrosters work and windshield wiper blades are in good condition. Less daylight means you will not be able to see hazards as well as in daytime. Some areas on your routes may have bright street lights, but many areas will have poor lighting. Be sure to give yourself enough stopping distance when lighting is poor or confusing.
Sometimes within school transportation we may need to go that “extra” mile when it comes to safety. Drivers who keep their route sheets up-to-date and put an X in front of a student's name who is a crosser helps substitute drivers keep children safe. A simple smile and "Good Morning" lets children know we care about their safety. Courtesy and respect can reduce personality conflicts between transportation staff.
Patience is something all transportation employees cannot have enough of. Thank you for caring about the children. I wish all of you a safe and happy school year.

Upcoming Events

2014 National School Bus Safety Week: October 20-24, 2014. Annual event designed to promote school bus safety throughout the country. Includes Poster Contest theme: "Be Smart - Be Seen, I wait in a safe place!"

Special Needs School Bus Safety Extravaganza: Sat., Nov. 8, 2014, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. TST BOCES, Ithaca, NY. This Extravaganza is a chance to practice your skills when transporting children with special needs in a friendly, learning-centered environment. Cost $10 per driver/attendant team includes t-shirt, refreshments, and lunch. Contact Robin Parks, TST BOCES at 607/257-1555, x6007.

National Assoc. for Pupil Transp. Conference & Trade Show: Nov 8 - 11, Kansas City, Missouri. Visit for more info.

Back To School Safety Quiz

Summer is ending and that only means one thing: It's back to school time! Take this quiz and see how ready you are for the start of a new school year. Directions: Read each statement carefully and mark the response that best answers the question.

1. In New York State you do not have to stop for a school bus with its red lights flashing if it is on the opposite side of a divided highway.
A. True
B. False

2. Which of the following is good advice for protecting a child at the bus stop?
A. When parents meet children who must cross the road at the bus stop, encourage them to meet their children as they exit the bus.
B. A backpack or book bag to carry school materials.
C. At group stops students should be trained to wait for the bus in a single line.
D. All of the above

3. The most important piece of safety equipment on a bus is a professional, alert, caring school bus driver.
A. True
B. False

4. Which statement about children is not true?
A. "Good Morning" may be the first positive interaction a child experiences that day.
B. Children are very observant of what adults do.
C. Interacting with children is not part of a bus attendant or bus monitor job.
D. In today's world, many children are hungry for positive adult role models.

5. In which area are children in the most danger of being hit, either by another vehicle or their own bus?
   A. School Zone
   B. Danger Zone
   C. Bus Stop Zone
   D. Crossing Zone

1. (B) False. In NYS you must stop for a school bus even if it is on the opposite side of a divided highway. The fine for passing a stopped school bus ranges from a minimum of $250 for a first violation to a maximum of $1,000 for three violations in three years.

2. (D) All of the above. Having children keep belongings in a backpack or bookbag helps to prevent loose items from being dropped under the bus (children have been killed if they dropped something under the bus and tried to get it). When parents meet children as they exit the bus this can result in the child crossing the road under parental supervision, which is safer. Be sure to teach parents proper crossing procedures so their children will learn the correct way to cross. Group stops (at trailer parks, apartment complexes, etc.) should wait for bus and enter bus in an orderly fashion, in single file at least ten feet away from the roadway.

3. (B) True.

4. (C) Bus Attendants/Monitors have a terrific opportunity to influence children in positive ways, even more so than the drivers. For example, if a child is on the bus for thirty (30) minutes each morning and thirty (30) minutes each afternoon the Bus Attendant/Monitor will have spent one hour a day with a child and that adds-up to 180 hours over the course of a school year!

5. (B) Danger Zone. This Zone is any area outside of the bus within 15 feet from the front bumper, 15 feet from the left and right sides of the bus and 15 feet behind the rear bumper of the school bus.

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