Although school buses under the guidance of RTA provide one of the safest modes of transportation, there are still school bus-related injuries every year. Some of these are due to crashes with other vehicles; some are due to the school bus hitting a pedestrian or a passenger. The responsibility borne by school bus drivers is considerable. We at Gulf Pinnacle Transport has developed a training program for the drivers which addresses issues that should be of concern to school bus drivers in their efforts to safely transport their passengers.
The participants for the training session is the school bus drivers of Gulf Pinnacle Transport. This is an in-service training program which is mandatory for the drivers to complete as per the schedule. The school bus driver sets the stage for how things will go on the school bus and throughout the students’ day. Safety starts with the driver and a driver’s attitude predicts how the students will behave; School bus drivers also need to pay attention to other drivers and their attitude changes and know what to do to get help.
The school bus driver must recognize that control of the bus is critical. The school bus driver has two responsibilities: driving safely and not being distracted. If the driver is distracted by and/or loses control of the students, it is a safety problem.
The school bus driver must be completely familiar with the route he drives. The school bus driver must know what to do with hazards on that route.
The school bus driver must drive in all kinds of weather. Therefore he must be able to respond to adverse weather conditions, whether expected or unexpected. This in-service training modules will also focus on weather conditions that present a driving challenge.
It is anticipated that respective schools will adapt this training program to suit their requirements. The School Bus Driver In-Service Safety Series has twelve modules. The modules are:
• Duties and responsibilities of School Bus Driver
• Pre-trip Inspection
• Student Management
• Good Driving Habits
• Blind Zone, Use of Indicators & Lane Changing Awareness
• Parking Lot Awareness
• Defensive Driving
• Safe-Travel Checklist
• Driving Distractions
• School Bus Stops
• Risk Assessment & Safety Audit
• Handling of Emergency Situations
At the completion of this in-service training sessions, participants will be able to:
• Understand the impact the school bus drivers have on student safety
• Importance of keeping control of student behavior on the bus
• Situations that put school bus safety most at risk
• Maintain acceptable student behavior on the bus.
• Identify the potential driving hazards on their own regular routes and how to eliminate, avoid, or deal with those hazards
• Understand what the danger zones are; and its importance Understand the ways to keep track of students in the danger zones.
• Understand what to do in each particular kind of weather, if the weather can’t be avoided.
The length of each of the modules of the School Bus Driver In-Service Safety Series is designed to be presented alone. The modules vary in length from 45 minutes to 1 hour and 30 minutes. Some of the modules support each other in their content and could be presented together.
The modules do not include time for introductions or an ice-breaker exercise. It is assumed that the series will be offered at the local level to groups of drivers who know each other. If this is not the case, time will have to be added for introductions.
Gulf Pinnacle Transport (GPT) commenced its operation as passenger transport company, with an intention to specialize in the field of school transportation. GPT is strongly committed towards providing quality transportation by maintaining the highest level of safety and make sure that the children have safe, comfortable journey to the School and back home.