How Safe Are School Buses?

Millions of American children ride a school bus each day to and from school. When you wave goodbye to your child’s school bus in the morning, you have the right to expect that your child will get to and from school safely.

According to the American School Bus Council, the design of today’s school buses, the most regulated vehicles on the road, make them statistically the safest way to transport school children. And yet, school-bus related crashes killed 95 people nationwide in 2017.

School bus driver requirements

School bus safety is paramount for the San Diego Unified School District. Prior to employment, drivers are fingerprinted and tested for drugs and alcohol. To further ensure student safety, employed drivers are required to:

  • Be subject to random drug and alcohol testing
  • Have a Commercial Driver’s License, Class B with a Passenger endorsement and an “S” endorsement
  • Have a valid School Bus Driver Certificate
  • Meet federal and state physical standards requirements

Federal regulations maintain that “the driver” is responsible for the safe operation of the school bus.

Safety tips for students

In addition to always cooperating with the bus driver, students should also:

  • Keep the aisles clear of books and bags
  • Buckle up if the school bus has seat belts
  • Keep heads, arms and legs inside the bus
  • Wait for the bus to come to an entire stop before getting up
  • When crossing the street, walk at least ten feet in front of the bus
  • Get on an off the bus in an orderly manner, and make sure to use the handrail

If your child was injured in a school bus accident, it is not always easy to figure out who is at fault. Negligence may lie with the school bus driver, another driver, the school district or bus company or the bus manufacturer.

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