October 15th - 19th is National School Bus Safety Week. Considering that over 25 million children ride a school bus to and from school each day, this is a great time for everyone to be on the same page far as safety goes. Participants include parents, children, teachers, administrators, bus drivers, and school officials to come together to reinforce the basics of taking school bus safety seriously. Anyone else interested in partnering with their local schools to emphasize bus safety is also encouraged to join in.
For 2018 the week's theme is "My Driver - My Safety Hero!" This is meant to commemorate the bus drivers who take safety precautions each day to help keep the children they drive to and from school as safe as possible. From enforcing safety walking to the bus stop to boarding, and exiting bus drivers are an important aspect in keeping students safe. This week seeks to give families way they can work with their children to help them abide by their bus driver's rules of conduct to keep them and their driver safe while on the road.
What Are Some Ways to Help Keep My Child Safe on the School Bus?
There are simple tasks that can be done to keep children safe while on their school buses each day. Many of them only take a moment and a little bit of thought to help keep children safe. The following are a few great tips to keep your child as safe as possible while using the school bus:
Keep every item in your child's backpack while entering and exiting the bus. Carrying loose items creates unneeded distractions.
Leave plenty of time to get to the bus stop so you are not running to chase or catch the bus.
If children are young, walk them to the bus stop in groups with several adults monitoring the group. This ensures that young children are safe and do not end up running out on the street or into danger by mistake.
Walk in crosswalks, not next to, near, or around them.
Always have children notify the driver if they drop or lose an item while entering or exiting the school bus. Stopping to try to pick the item up can be a very risky behavior.
Emphasize the importance of staying seated at all times when the bus is in transit.
Keep noise levels appropriate as to not provide unnecessary distractions for the driver while they are operating the vehicle.
These are just a few tips to remind your children while they are on the school bus. School buses can be a wonderful way to help children get to and from school safely, but they need to be used correctly.
For more information on school bus safety or how you can make a difference by becoming a school bus driver, contact Advanced Career Institute. ACI provides Class B CDL training to help prepare you to become a bus driver!
With school starting back, there are a lot of little ones that aren't happy about having to ride the bus to and from school each day. It's a little scary, there are those bigger kids who are mean, it can be excessively loud and overstimulating. As the bus driver, is there anything you can do to get the kids excited about being on the bus? There are several opportunities you can try to improve kids' enjoyment of their ride to and from school every day.
Tip #1: Play Fun Music
Look for music that the kids will recognize, dance to, and enjoy. Disney songs, songs from kids' television shows, and other music that kids already hear throughout the day will help increase their excitement and make them more likely to enjoy the ride. Make sure to keep music kid friendly and appropriate since you are a representation of the school.
Tip #2: Assign Seating
If you don't have problems on your bus, you don't have to be rigid about the seating. Even if things are going smoothly, consider keeping the littlest ones at the front of the bus, where they'll be close to you. This will allow you to get a head start on preventing any possible problems.
Tip #3: Develop a Relationship
Take the time to develop a relationship with your youngest riders, especially the ones that are looking a little nervous. Try a special handshake that will make them giggle when they first get on the bus. Ask about their days as they clamber on when the day is over. When the kids know you care about them, they'll be less afraid of the bus and more likely to look forward to it.
Tip #4: Set Your Rules Early
As a bus driver, it would be ideal if you could simply let the kids climb on and take them to their destinations without having to worry about specific rules. Unfortunately, that can quickly backfire--and setting rules later is a lot harder than setting them from the beginning. Set your rules early and let the kids know that you're going to stick to them to prevent bullying and other bad behavior on the bus.
Are you ready to climb onto the bus for back to school season? If you want a new career as a bus driver, contact Advanced Career Institute! ACI provides Class A CDL training for anyone interested in becoming a bus driver. We'll help you get the training you need to get started with your new job.
'Back-to-School' is just around the corner, but kids aren't the only ones getting ready for the school year. Bus drivers are also gearing up (no pun intended) to make their first pick-ups of the season. They are the initial point of contact for new students and their parents on the first day of school. Here are some tips and tricks to make sure those first pick-ups go well for everyone - parents, students, and bus driver!
Bus Safety First
The safety of the students is the top priority for the bus driver. Every day, before leaving the garage, it is essential to ensure that the bus is in safe working condition. Checking the crossing lights, crossing arm, emergency exits, windshield wipers, and brakes help to provide a safe ride for the students. Students unfamiliar with safety procedures for embarking and disembarking may need instruction. Dave Butler, a seasoned bus driver, shares his method of teaching students in the article, School Bus Safety Checklist for Bus Driver. "I've been teaching them to... get off the bus...and go ten feet in front of the bus so my eyes can meet [their] eyes and I'll give [them] the universal cross signal for [them] to cross."
Promoting a Positive Environment
It is essential to create a positive environment in the first few days of a new school year. Detailing expectations gives the students boundaries for behavior and the bus driver a framework to enforce discipline when needed. Will students be permitted to sit wherever they wish? Is it be acceptable to change their seat mid-ride? Will the use of smartphones and other electronics be allowed? These are questions a bus driver will have to answer before the first day of school. Some bus drivers find that assigned seats help to maintain discipline. Veteran bus driver John Farr likes the assigned seating method since it increases accountability and cuts down on vandalism problems. In the Schoolbus Fleet article, Strategies for Discipline Problems on the School Bus, Farr also encourages bus drivers to compliment students on positive behaviors and not just single out the bad actors.
Driving a school bus is a rewarding and exciting career. Bus drivers are an extension of the school and have the critical task of ensuring that the school day begins and ends safely and positively. Bus drivers are not merely taxi drivers, ferrying students to and fro. Instead, bus drivers are among the most influential adults in their students' lives. They are part of the necessary support staff that makes up every successful school.
If you are interested in becoming a school bus driver or have any questions, contact us today! Here at Advanced Career Institute, we strive to train adult learners for rewarding careers.
A Bus Driver's Goal is to Keep it's Passengers Safe
As a bus driver, my first priority is ensuring that the students under my care arrive safely and securely at their destinations--and I need your help to make that happen. Road safety is my #1 priority. In order to accomplish those goals, can we reach an agreement? There are several common laws that have either been forgotten or which many of you simply choose not to follow.
Rule #1: When My Lights Flash and Arm Extends, You Have to Stop
Legally speaking, you're required to stop your vehicle when my stop sign is extended and my lights are flashing. This isn't a deliberate effort to inconvenience you; it's a safety measure for the students in my care. Keep in mind these key rules:
On a divided highway, only the traffic traveling on the same side of the road as the bus needs to stop. If you're on the opposite side of a divided highway, feel free to drive on through!
If we're not on a divided highway, all lanes of traffic must stop when I stop. This is for the safety of my students, who may have to cross the road to reach their homes.
If my yellow safety lights are flashing and my red stop lights aren't and my stop sign isn't extended, you need to proceed with caution. Make sure you're looking carefully around you, but you may not need to come to a complete stop.
Rule #2: Don't Rush to Pass Illegally
My bus takes up a lot of space on the road, and all too many motorists try to zoom around it without stopping to think about what it does for visibility. I know that you're in a hurry. You need to get to work on time, or complete your errands, or make it home before your own students get off of the bus. Rushing around me--especially illegally--is more likely to cause an accident, especially when you can't see what's going on--and that might impact more than you. It might also impact the dozens of children on my bus.
Rule #3: Keep Your Distance
When you're stopping behind me, take a minute to consider how close you are to the bus. Children are at the greatest risk for being hit in the zone about ten feet around the bus--and that can be a serious problem if you're edging closer. Check out our state's regulations for how far away from the bus you need to be stopped and proceed accordingly.
With your cooperation, we can make students much safer and prevent accidents--and that's a win for everyone involved.
A Concerned Bus Driver
If you have more questions about the rules of the road and maintaining proper etiquette and safety when dealing with a school bus, contact us! we'll make sure that you understand the key elements of road safety to keep both students and drivers safer.
Many people begin pursuing a Commercial Driver’s License with the intent of becoming an over-the-road truck driver. Why not? It’s a common profession that is in high demand. There are plenty of jobs available! However, it’s not the only show in town. There are also non-trucking jobs you can get with a CDL. A CDL is a surprisingly versatile document, and while driving is almost always on the docket if you are getting a CDL, driving a big rig is far from the only occupation you can hope to pursue.
Indeed, there are many vehicles you can operate and an equal number of potential employers who will look at hiring you if you depending on your level of experience. These jobs can each bring their nuances that offer commercial drivers a surprising level of diversity to their daily work experience.
Highway Maintenance Technician:
Highway construction and repair projects often require the use of large vehicles, which means people are needed to drive those vehicles. Everything from dump trucks, skid steers, to concrete mixers and paint trucks are used for highway maintenance, so if you want this job, you’d better put your work boots on. Often a Class B CDL is the minimum requirement for this position.
Engineering Equipment Operator:
As an Engineering Equipment Operator, you will operate a variety of heavy machinery including pump trucks and trash compactors and will help prepare the terrain for upcoming construction projects. Depending on where in the country you are working and the geographical structures around you, and the nature of the business that employs you, you can work in any number of environments up to and including bodies of water.
Construction Equipment Operator:
Few fields have as diverse a set of big vehicles as the construction industry. Skid steers, dump trucks, knuckle boom loaders, track hoes, loaders, flatbeds, bush hogs, cranes, and steamrollers. You name it, the construction guys use it. All of them require an operator who possesses a CDL.
Bus driving is a solid alternative to truck driving. Providing stability and flexibility, there are several different types of bus driving jobs, each of which has their own distinct vibe. Whether you choose city bus, school bus, tour bus, or an intercity bus, you have a different clientele and a different work experience.
Tractor Trailer Technician:
While not required in most states, having a CDL is a big plus for most tractor-trailer technicians. It stands to reason that it is better to be qualified to drive a vehicle you are working on. Tractor trailer technicians don’t haul loads with their trucks, but they certainly are good at fixing them. Maintaining fleets of trucks is a big job that is usually performed by a team of semi-truck techs, and is a vital part of the trucking industry.
Another job that doesn’t require most workers to have a CDL, but it greatly helps is a Terminal Manager. Terminal Managers are the field managers of a trucking company and are responsible for organizing, planning, and implementing transportation solutions. In other words, they manage trucking company workloads.
Delivery drivers don’t have the prodigious time on the road that perhaps an over-the-road hauler does, but the two occupations are close cousins. Businesses as diverse as furniture companies and medical equipment suppliers often provide delivery services and often employ workers with commercial driver’s licenses.
Interested in one of these non-trucking jobs you can get with a CDL? Advanced Career Institute can help you start your career in trucking. Check out our programs and the opportunities available to you.
Kids are a family's dearest treasure. When we send them off to school, we are entrusting them to a system we expect will keep them safe. For this reason, school buses are the most regulated vehicles on the road. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), students are 70 times more likely to get to school safely on a school bus than in a car. As a professional school bus driver, here are some safety tips to consider:
When picking up or dropping off kids, make sure children are away from the bus before moving and especially if reversing.
Be cautious of kids in neighborhoods. This is especially true if the streets have no sidewalks or are lined with trees and bushes.
Look for kids running up to the bus when they are late. They might run out unexpectedly and not be aware of traffic.
When picking up or dropping off, stop for a few seconds and keep the door closed until other vehicles have come to a stop.
School bus seats are designed to protect the passenger when seated properly. Ensure kids are seated when the bus is in motion.
Make sure children are not reaching out of or dangling anything from the windows.
Let children know to not rush back to the bus if they forgot something. This might cause them to dart into the street. You can always turn in any found objects to the school office.
Make sure all children that need to have crossed the street completely before retracting the crossing arm.
Always instruct kids to be silent when driving through a railroad crossing, so as to be able to hear train warnings.
Always put safety ahead of schedule requirements.
These are mostly common sense suggestions which you should keep in mind. They are in addition to specific regulations you learned for your Class B CDL test. If you would like to learn more about becoming a Professional School Bus Driver and bus driver training, contact Advanced Career Institute for details.