Training shall be
provided concerning pre-trip and post-trip procedures for the type of vehicle
to be operated. The district/charter and service provider procedures for
reporting defects should be part of the pre-trip training. The operator of any
school transportation vehicle shall perform and document a daily pre-trip prior
to a vehicle being placed in service. The post-trip shall be completed at the
end of daily operations of each vehicle.
Restraints and Safety Belt Use
lifesaving and injury reducing safety device drivers have on the bus for their
own protection is the safety belt. However, if you do not use it, not only are
you exposing yourself, your passengers, and other motorists to danger, but you
are violating the law. Not only are you required to wear your seat belt
per 1 CCR 301-26, 15.01 in addition,
15.02 requires that all passengers
in the vehicle, if it is under 10,000 GVWR, must use their seat belts as well.
As the driver, it is your responsibility to ensure that all of your passengers
are secured in their seat belts prior to placing the vehicle in motion.
Regarding Carry-On Items
As the driver of
a small vehicle, whether it be on a route or on an activity trip, it is your
responsibility to ensure that all carry-on items are managed and secured. Keep
in mind that in the event of a crash all items that have not been properly
secured could become airborne, especially if it involves a rollover.
We all know that
students carry a considerable number of items especially if they are travelling
to a sporting event. Best practice in the school transportation industry is
that if a student can hold the item(s) then they are permitted to bring it
aboard. However, there may be occasions where the item being transported cannot
be held by a student. In that situation, it must be properly secured per 1 CCR 301-26 16.2. Items are not
permitted to be placed in a seat to the extent that it would extend beyond the
height of the seat back. They also cannot be placed in the aisle or in front of
any emergency exit.
are required to carry emergency equipment that must be properly secured in the
vehicle as well.
and Cleaning Supplies
CDE has placed
restricts on the quantity and what can be carried in a school transportation
vehicle. If you were ever involved in a crash and emergency services were to
respond to the scene and found students covered in liquids, they would want to
know what that liquid is so they would know how to properly treat it. Again,
all of these items must be properly secured to the vehicle.
We all know that
children like decorations, however, the school bus is not the proper place for
decorations, particularly if they potential could block a driver’s view or
impede an emergency exit.
on the outside of the vehicle are prohibited as well. The Colorado Minimum Standards Governing School Transportation Vehicles
1 CCR 301-25 specify in great detail what exterior color, signage,
markings, reflective tape etc., are permitted on the exterior of a school bus
or multifunction bus.
your maximum drive/on duty -time it is important to understand that the total
number of hours includes ANY on-duty
time for ALL employers. You
cannot exceed 10 hours of driving time in one 24-hour period. You also, cannot
exceed 14 hours of on-duty time in one 24-hour period.
As the driver of a school
transportation vehicle you could potentially be the only adult present
if an emergency occurs. As the adult present, all of
the students will be looking to you for instructions and leadership in an
emergency. Having written documentation that you are conducting evacuations and
reading evacuation instructions prior
to every activity trip is required per 1 CCR 301-26, 19.0.
We will cover emergencies in greater detail in Unit Six.
5,500 people are killed each year on U.S. roadways and an estimated 448,000 are
injured in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted driving (NHTSA Traffic
Safety Facts: Distracted Driving).
distracted driving include slowed perception, which may cause you to be delayed
in perceiving or completely failing to perceive an important traffic event;
delayed decision-making and improper action, which can cause you to be delayed
in taking the proper action or make incorrect inputs to the steering,
accelerator or brakes
that text messaging is even riskier than talking on a cell phone because it
requires you to look at a small screen and manipulate the keypad with one’s
Texting is the
most alarming distraction because it involves both physical and mental
indicates that the burden of talking on a cell phone - even if it is hands-free
- saps the brain of 39% of the energy it would ordinarily devote to safe
driving. Drivers who use a hand- held device are more likely to get into a
crash serious enough to cause injury. CRS
42-4-239 is the Colorado statute that makes it a crime for a person 18
years of age or older to text while
operating a motor
vehicle. A violation of this law is a class 2 traffic misdemeanor that is
punishable by a minimum fine of $300.
section states that”
“a person eighteen
years of age or older shall not use a wireless telephone for the purpose of engaging in text messaging or other
similar forms of manual data entry or transmission while operating a motor vehicle.”
Ø Turn off
all communication devices. If you must use a mobile phone, make sure it is
within close proximity; that it is operable while you are restrained; use an
earpiece or the speaker-phone function; use voice-activated dialing; or use the
hands-free feature. Drivers are not in compliance if they unsafely reach for a
mobile phone, even if they intend to use the hands-free function. Do not type
or read a text message on a mobile device while driving.
yourself with your vehicle’s features and equipment before you get behind the
Ø Adjust all vehicle controls
and mirrors to your preferences prior to
Ø Pre-program radio stations
and pre-load your favorite CDs.
Ø Clear the vehicle of any
unnecessary objects and secure cargo.
Ø Review maps, program the GPS and plan your route before you
Ø Do not attempt to read or
write while you drive.
eating and drinking while you drive. Leave early to allow yourself time to stop
Ø Do not engage in complex or
emotionally intense conversations with other
Check your local district/charter or
service provider policy regarding the use of a cell phone while on duty.