Transportation News


School Bus Stop Safety

 

Each year MSAD No. 75 Transportation reviews its current school bus routes and makes necessary modifications to them basked of students, student and district needs, available staffing and safety concerns. This year school bus drivers discussed safety at every school bus stop and ways to improve safety at our school bus stops.

 

The MSAD No, 75 Transportation Department is working to align our school bus stops with state and federal pupil transportation recommendations for safe student transportation. One of those recommendations is to review school bus stops and reduce the number of students crossing the road at a school bus stop and to increase “door-side” stops.  I have asked all drivers to review their current routes to evaluate this safety measure. Many of our school buses do loop routes, allowing them to travel the same roads up and back (with a common turn around point). When our bus route is able to do this, drivers will pick up all stops door-side, minimizing the number of stops where students must cross the street.

 

School bus transportation continues to be the safest mode of transportation for school age children. Recent studies have shown incidents involving students who are injured or killed while riding the school bus have occurred while the student was outside of the school bus and at the school bus stop. The greatest number of those incidents were caused by the passing of a stopped school bus (with its red lights flashing) and students crossing the road to get on or off their school bus.

 

Each year the National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation Services conducts a survey of all school bus drivers across the United States, counting the number of times their school bus was passed, while stopped and their red lights were flashing. In 2018 alone, in just one day, over 80,000 stopped school buses were illegally passed. On this day in Maine we had 332 schools participating with over 75 illegal passes, and 11 of those from MSAD No. 75. This is a significant number for just one day of reporting. As transportation professionals it is our responsibility to change this statistic and do anything we can to ensure the safety of our students, the most precious cargo we carry each day.

 

This summer driver's spent training hours discussing school bus stops proper stop procedures and identifying areas of a school bus route that may pose a danger to our students. Your child’s school bus driver has identified areas where improvements can be made in stop locations and pick-up order and we will continue our commitment to safety by reducing the number of students having to cross the road. While we understand that this may mean a little longer ride for some of our students, our transportation team is committed to the safety of our students and their school bus experience. This is why many may have seen a change in the stop order of your children’s school bus route this year.

 
School bus safety recommendations can be found in the National School Transportation Specifications and Procedures, adopted by the fifteenth National Congress on School Transportation. The national standard is the best practice for areas not addressed by law or rule. Thank you for your patience and understanding while we work through this process and ensuring our students are safe to and from school each day. 

In Safety,

The MSAD No. 75 Transportation Team



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