Safety in and around the school bus is important and parents are required to ensure their children understand how to be safe when getting to and from the bus stop or 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 obtain school bus driver contact information.
- Be at the bus stop 5 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 safety concern, discuss with your child's school bus driver or contact transportation Services.
*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, the driver cannot see behind the school bus.
"STOP FOR RED FLASHING LIGHTS"
(This includes at our schools and in our bus lanes)
Safety is Everyone's Responsibility
Central Okanagan Public Schools SD23 – Transportation Services
SCHOOL BUS RIDER RULES
- Students should be at the bus stop 5 minutes before scheduled pickup time.
- Passengers must remain seated while the bus is in motion.
- Always sit facing forward with your feet in front of you.
- Do not put arms, hands or head out the window.
- Do not throw garbage/objects on the floor or out the window.
- Loud or noisy behavior is prohibited, as this is distracting to the Bus Driver.
- The aisle of the bus must be kept clear at all times.
- Possession/use of drugs, tobacco, vape pens or alcohol, on the school bus is prohibited.
- Guest riders must obtain approval to ride from the bus driver and provide written permission from the parent.
- Parent permission is required before a passenger may be dropped off at an alternate stop.
- Musical Instruments may be permitted on the school bus provided the student can hold the instrument in their lap or store it under the seat. Please check with your bus driver before bringing band instruments onto the school bus.
Articles NOT Permitted on the School Bus
Skis & poles, Snowboards, Skateboards, Hockey Sticks, Animals or Pets, Firearms, Explosives, Combustible or anything of a dangerous nature that might endanger the lives or safety of others.
The School Bus Driver is responsible for passenger safety, please respect and follow the bus rider rules at all times.
FAMILY SAFETY PLAN
Although we do our best to ensure bus routes operate on schedule, situations arise on a daily basis, which contribute to delays or in rare circumstance, the cancellation of a bus route.
Parents should develop a safety plan and ensure their children understand what to do if the school bus is late or does not arrive at the stop.
ALL SCHOOL BUS ROUTE DELAYS IN EXCESS OF 20 MINUTES WILL BE POSTED ON THE TRANSPORTATION WEBSITE and PARENTS WILL RECEIVE AN EMAIL NOTIFICATION WITH THE DELAY INFORMATION.
An example of a Family Safety Plan would be:
- Teach your child how to be safe to, from and while waiting at the bus stop.
- Explain that they may have to wait UP TO 20 minutes, as the bus route may be late one day.
- Have a safe location for your child to return to (home or a neighbor's), in the event the school bus does not arrive after 20 minutes, or if the delay has increased in time.
- Check email messages for route delay updates from transportation
- Contact Transportation at 250.870.5151
*Many students have access to a mobile device. Show your child how to check the website for route delays, ensure they know their route number, contact information for Transportation and their bus driver.
Parents should also help their child receive a copy of their bus pass on their mobile device or try to have a printed copy with them, at all times.
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.
Safety is Everyone's Responsibility