Fact: School Bus Drivers Are Trained, Tested and Re-Tested.
School buses are one of the safest forms of transportation in the United States. Every year, approximately 450,000 public school buses transport 23.5 million children to and from school and school-related activities.
School bus drivers are trained to safely transport children to and from school. They are trained professionals with immense responsibility. Our communities have trusted drivers for generations, and with that trust, school bus drivers have made taking the school bus the safest way to get to and from school.
School bus driver’s, and the industry in general, are regulated by a multitude of government agencies. Every school bus in Minnesota is required by statute to be inspected annually by the Minnesota State Patrol. These mandated inspections are carried out by seven inspection teams who are deployed regionally.
Additionally, state troopers are assigned to enforce traffic regulations for school bus drivers and other motorists operating in proximity to school buses. Troopers conduct random school bus driver qualification checks, post-crash inspection and follow up reviews, and school bus-related public outreach programs.
Before transporting students, all school bus drivers should complete a pre-service training and testing program that includes classroom and on-the-road training, and successfully pass both written and driving performance tests that demonstrate adequate knowledge of policies and traffic laws as well as driving skills.
Driver instruction and procedures should include:
- Rules and policies for conducting safe and efficient student transportation.
- Instruction in operating school bus equipment.
- Proper adjustment and use of the school bus mirror system.
- Daily pre-trip and post-trip vehicle safety inspections.
- Safe driving techniques, including defensive driving skills.
- Procedures for loading and unloading passengers.
- Procedures for entering and exiting school zones.
- Student management.
- Accident and emergency procedures, including evacuation and use of emergency equipment.
- Basic first-aid procedures.
- Safety procedures for railroad crossings.
- Guidance in following route instructions and map diagrams.
- Appropriate use of electronic communications, if available. These may include wireless communication and GPS.
- Proper refueling procedures.
- Laws and rules associated with school activity trips.
- Reduced engine idling policies.
- Effective communications with staff, students and parents.
- Cultural diversity, including effective communication techniques when language barriers exist.
- Proper professional attitude and behavior.
- Customer service skills.
- Post-trip inspections of the school bus interior to verify that all children have left the bus.
- Training on use and securement of passenger safety devices, including safety seats and other equipment.