Virginia School Bus Driver Training Unit E Loading and Unloading Passengers
Warning Devices You must use warning lights when loading or unloading. Roadways under 35 mph: Activate warning flasher system at least 100 feet prior to making a stop. Roadways 35 mph or more: Activate warning flasher system at least 200 feet prior to making a stop.
Warning Devices Failure of a warning device to function on any school bus shall not relieve any person operating a motor vehicle from his duty to stop. Any person operating such bus who fails or refuses to equip such vehicle being driven by him with such equipment, or who fails to use such warning devices in the operation of such vehicle shall be guilty of a Class 3 misdemeanor. (Code of Virginia 46.2-1090)
8 LAMP WARNING SYSTEM • Activate amber traffic warning lights at appropriate distance • When the bus is stopped, open the door. This will deactivate the amber traffic warning signals and activate the red traffic warning signals, crossing control arm and traffic warning sign.
Using the 8 Lamp Warning System • Closing the door deactivates the traffic warning devices • If the amber lights are activated and no stop is required – use the cancel switch for the amber warning lights
8 Lamp System Interrupt Switch This switch will cancel the operation of the crossing arm and stop arm while leaving the warning lights operational
Location of the Stops • Only stop at designated points • Only stop in the right travel lane • Never stop near crest of hill or curve • On divided highways, pick up students on side of road where they live • Stop must be clearly visible at a safe distance from both directions
Stopping and Loading the Bus • Check all mirrors and use signals • Remain in travel lane • Slow down and activate the warning lights at the appropriate distance • Stop bus before getting to point where children are standing • Use extreme caution
Stopping and Loading the Bus (Continued) • Place transmission in park or if there is no park shift point in neutral • Engage parking brake • Check for traffic before signaling students to approach • Open door and board - Close door and proceed after all children are accounted for and are seated
Loading the Bus STUDENTS SHOULD: • Use handrail • Fill bus from rear • Go directly to seats • Be seated quickly & safely • Not save seats • Don’t stand or sit in aisle
Unloading • Slow down when approaching stop • Activate warning lights • Stops are to be made in right travel lane • Place transmission in park or if there is no park shift point in neutral • Apply parking brake • Check for traffic before opening door • Check danger zone
Stopping and Unloading the Bus • Check all mirrors for traffic approaching from the front and back of the bus • Signal to children when it is safe to cross • Account for all students before proceeding • Check mirrors and surrounding area before continuing
Loading and Unloading when Emergency vehicle approaches Determine if it is safe to move to the road shoulder Yield as soon as possible to emergency vehicles that are using flashing lights and sirens
Responding to Emergency Vehicles 3 Scenarios • Bus is approaching a stop or is stopped to unload • Bus is stopped and pupils are on the ground or in the roadway • Bus is approaching a stop to load pupils Use Good Judgment
Post Trip Inspection A post trip inspection is part of the unloading process. A proper post trip inspection will insure that no passenger is left behind or remains on the vehicle at the end of a route, a work shift, or the work day. This inspection is critical to the safety of pupil passengers.
Facts • During the loading and unloading process more students are fatally injured by their school bus than by other vehicles involved in accidents during that process. • Elementary students are more likely to be fatally injured • Students fatally injured in school bus related accidents are injured during the day in good weather conditions
Danger Zone Most students, fatally injured, are pedestrians, five to seven years old. They are hit in the “Danger Zone” around the bus, either by a passing vehicle or by the school bus itself. Danger Zone Properly Adjusted Mirrors are Critical
Dangers of Loading and Unloading Young children are most likely to be hit because they: 1. Hurry to get on or off the bus 2. Act before they think and have little experience with traffic 3. Assume motorists will see them and will wait for them to cross 4. Don't always stay within the bus driver's sight.
Dangers of Loading and Unloading Never let a student off the bus when a dangerous situation exist outside of the school bus
Dangers of Loading and Unloading Children should ask the driver for help if an item is dropped.