Safety in and around the school bus is as important as getting to and from the school bus stop. Parents or caregivers are responsible to ensure the child can safely get to and from the bus stop. Discuss school bus safety and ensure children understand how to be safe while waiting at the bus stop.
THE LAW in B.C.
Red-Alternating Lights on the School Bus
Section 11.12 of the Motor Vehicle Act Regulations states:
4) The driver of a yellow and black school bus may, but need not, activate
(a) the alternately flashing lamps, or
(b) the stop arm on the school bus when the bus is stopping or stopped to load or unload students.
(5) The driver of a yellow and black school bus who activates the alternately flashing lamps on the school bus shall do so
(a) in sufficient time to give reasonable warning to the drivers of other vehicles who are required to stop, and
(b) throughout the entire process of loading or unloading students.
(6) No person shall operate the alternating flashing lamps or the stop arm on a yellow and black school bus unless the vehicle is stopped, or stopping to load or unload students.
Failure to Stop for the School Bus
Section 149 of the Motor Vehicle Act states;
The driver of a vehicle on a highway, on meeting or overtaking a school bus
(a) that is designated as a school bus,
(b) that is stopped on a highway, and
(c) on or near which a sign or signal is displayed indicating the school bus is receiving or discharging school children, must stop the vehicle before reaching the bus and not proceed until the bus resumes motion or the driver of the bus signals to other drivers that it is safe to proceed.
Failure to comply with the law endangers the lives of students and may result in a fine of $368.00.
The use of RED ALTERNATING LIGHTS when loading or unloading students from the school bus is "best practice" and will be applied to bus stops located within Central Okanagan Public School District, whenever possible.
Waiting for the School Bus
- It is a parents responsibility to ensure their child safety to and from the bus stop or when waiting for the bus to arrive at the bus stop.
- Know what bus route your children are registered on and retain Transportation Services contact information.
- Be at the bus stop 5-10 minutes prior to the scheduled pick up time.
- Students shall wait in the "Safe Zone" and wait for the drivers signal before entering or leaving the school bus.
- Do not run or chase after the school bus, you may be in the "Danger Zone"
Boarding and leaving the School Bus
- ONLY cross in front of the school bus when the RED ALTERNATING LIGHTS are activated.
- Always wait for the "signal to cross" from the bus driver.
- Board in a single line and do not push or crowd your way on or off the school bus.
- Go directly to your seat and sit down, students may be assigned a specific seat. (the bus driver may not move the bus until all passengers are seated)
STUDENTS WILL ONLY CROSS IN FRONT OF THE SCHOOL BUS WHEN THE RED ALTERNATING LIGHTS ARE FLASHING and THE TRAFFIC HAS COME TO A COMPLETE STOP and THE DRIVER HAS GIVEN THE SIGNAL IT IS OK TO CROSS!
Parents should always remain at the bus stop and not interfere with the loading or unloading procedure. If you have a concern, please contact transportation Services,
please do not try to discuss with the driver at the bus stop.
*NOTE: in cases where the RED ALTERNATING LIGHTS are NOT used for unloading students;
- The students shall wait in the safe zone until the bus departs, and then students may leave the bus stop, crossing at an intersection or crosswalk if required.
- NEVER cross behind the school bus.
Standing on the School bus
Division 11, Section 13 of the BC Motor Vehicle Act states:
(3) The driver of a school bus shall not
(a) allow any person to ride on the school bus unless the person is comfortably and securely seated on a passenger seat, or
(b) move the bus or cause it to move unless he is reasonably certain that every passenger on the bus is comfortably and securely seated.
(4) No person shall drive or operate on a highway, or allow or cause to be driven or operated on a highway, a school bus carrying more persons, including the driver, than the lesser of
(a) the number of persons who can be comfortably and securely seated, or
(b) the designated school bus seating capacity.
"WE STOP – YOU STOP"
STOP FOR RED FLASHING LIGHTS
SCHOOL BUS SAFETY FEATURES
School buses are equipped with more safety equipment than any other vehicle. These safety features include well-padded, high-back, energy absorbing seats, as well as special equipment for wheelchair restraint systems. School bus interiors are designed to reduce the chances of injury caused by sharp edges or body panels that may tear loose in a crash. There are also specific requirements for lights, mirrors, rollover protection, brakes and emergency exits.
School buses have been proven to be the safest form of transportation for
students when compared to any other mode of travel.
What makes a school bus safe?
Why no seat belts?
Information from all types of school bus collisions demonstrates that the current school bus design provides a high level of protection to occupants and that seatbelts may adversely affect the safety of children on school buses (Transport Canada).
Instead of requiring seat belts, school buses are designed and constructed differently from passenger cars. School buses protect passengers through "compartmentalization", a design that includes;
- Seats with high backs;
- Seats filled with energy-absorbing material;
- Seats placed close together to form compartments;
- Strong seat anchorages.
Studies have shown that adding seat belts to the current seating configuration of a school bus can increase the chance of head and neck injuries. For a seat belt to be effective, it must be worn correctly, snug and on the upper thighs.
Because school vehicles carry passengers from the very young to high school students, if seat belts were used, they would need to be readjusted and their use monitored. A seat belt not worn correctly may cause additional injury.
The School Bus Driver is responsible for passenger safety, please respect and follow the bus rider rules at all times.
Central Okanagan Public Schools SD23 – Transportation Services