Parents’ Most Common Questions About School Buses

Parents’ Most Common Questions About School Buses

Y’all, it’s up to you to protect your kids, especially when you’re entrusting them to the care of someone else. At some point, they’ll be taking a big step onto that big yellow bus. Other parents’ most common questions about school buses are probably pretty similar to yours. Whether your kids are hybrid learning or you’re looking ahead to next school year, get up to speed on how your kids will get to school.

Q. Are school buses really the safest vehicles on the road?

Yes. It’s understandable that parents are skeptical—all it takes is a news story about one bus accident for you to worry forever. But buses have the fewest accidents on the road. The padded, high-backed seats on a school bus have proven safer than seatbelts in the event of a collision. Emergency windows, exits, and roof hatches are ready if necessary. Most of all, the school buses’ signature color—not to mention all those flashing lights—effectively puts other drivers on alert.

Q. If the driver’s driving, who’s monitoring the kids’ behavior?

School districts are installing more mirrors so that drivers can see all areas of the bus’s interior and video cameras that document everything that goes on. If a serious issue arises, the drivers’ training dictates they stop the bus in a safe place, stand up, and speak to the offenders courteously but firmly. They are authorized to move a student closer to the front or call the principal or their supervisor. The video recordings can help sort problems out once they’ve safely completed their route.

Q. What if my child accidentally gets left on the bus?

In the past, kids have fallen asleep in their seats without drivers noticing. But drivers inspect the entire bus before leaving it, and now automated reminders ensure that they don’t forget.

Q. Why can’t the bus pick my child up in front of my home?

There could be any number of reasons. Although there are some exceptions for students with disabilities, a bus shouldn’t stop if it can’t meet safety requirements. These include clear visibility in both directions, which rules out blind curves and steep hills. Also, backing up from a stop is strongly discouraged for school busses. Plus, there may be additional guidelines specific to your state.

Q. Can I talk to the driver about my concerns?

Yes—to a point—but not on the bus itself. That’s illegal. You can briefly speak to the driver from the open door, through the window, or by giving them a note. For anything that you can’t resolve in a minute or two, it’s best to contact the district or bus service. Smart bus drivers are familiar with parents’ most common questions about school buses and might send home a memo or brochure outlining their policies at the start of the semester.

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