October 15-21

October 15-21 is designated as National School Bus Safety Week.  A recent near tragedy in neighboring school district
Hillcrest brings home the need for school bus safety awareness.  On Tuesday afternoon, October 10, the driver of the bus
pictured below was momentarily distracted by students.  An instant is all it takes.  The bus dropped off the shoulder, then
flipped over with the driver and 16 students inside.  The bus driver had to be cut from the wreckage.  Eight passengers and
the driver were treated at a local hospital.  Although, according to the National Safety Council, school buses are by far the
safest mode of mass transportation and are even safer than cars, accidents will occur when safety rules are not followed.

The following are school bus regulations from the Sloan-Hendrix School District.  Pay particular attention to rule #5.

SCHOOL BUS REGULATIONS

  1. Students must be at the bus stop at the scheduled time. They should stand back about ten feet from the bus stop and wait for
    the door to be opened before moving closer to the bus. Playing on the highway is forbidden.
  2. While waiting for the bus, pupils must remain in a safe place away from traffic. If a student misses the bus, he should not attempt
    to hitchhike a ride or walk to or from school.
  3. While loading or unloading, students must enter or leave the bus orderly and quickly.
  4. While riding the bus, students are under the supervision of the bus driver and must obey the driver at all times.
  5. The school expects students to conduct themselves in a manner that will not distract the attention of their
    driver or disturb other riders on the bus.
  6. Students must remain in their assigned seats. Changing seats is not allowed.
  7. Bus drivers are required to ensure that all passengers are seated before operating a bus. (Act 1744 of 2001)
  8. Students are not to tamper with any of the safety devices such as latches, fire extinguishers, etc.
  9. Pupils are not to put their hands, arms, heads, or bodies out the windows.
  10. Students are not to deface the bus or any school property. This includes, but is not limited to, writing
    on the bus or cutting seats, etc.; throwing paper, food, or other objects on the floor of the bus or out the
    windows; smoking while riding a school bus; or placing books, lunches, coats, etc. in the aisle of the bus.
  11. Students should not ask the driver to be let off the bus at any place other than at the regular stop. 
    Permission can be granted by the Principal only.
  12. If the pupil must cross the highway to enter the bus, he must wait until the bus has come to a 
    complete stop and the driver has signaled for him to cross in front of the bus.
  13. It is unlawful for any person or persons to threaten, curse, or use abusive language to a school
    bus driver in the presence of students in this state. (Misdemeanor: $25 to $100 fine, Act 814 - State of Arkansas).
  14. It is unlawful for any person to smoke on a school bus. (Misdemeanor: $10 to $100 fine, Act 728 - State of Arkansas).
  15. No one other than registered students may ride a school bus during regular bus routes.
  16. The bus driver can designate or establish seating arrangements on his/her bus, and students must adhere to the arrangements.
  17. Bus Drivers must supply the building principal with a seating chart for their bus (on regular route and field trips).
Check out the web sites below for more on School Bus Safety
School Bus Safety Rules
National Safety Council
Back to School Safety Tips
National Safety Council
National Association for
School Bus Transportation
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