School Bus Transportation Keeping Children Safe

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1 This document meets the requirements of the Québec government standard for Web accessibility SGQRI in order to make it accessible to everyone, regardless of whether or not they have a disability. All text appearing between curly brackets serves to describe non- text content, such as images, abbreviations or other content that relies on sensory perception to communicate information, indicate an action, require a response or draw attention to a visual element. If you experience technical difficulties, please contact the Société de l assurance automobile du Québec at This document was created by the Société de l assurance automobile du Québec (saaq.gouv.qc.ca). School Bus Transportation Keeping Children Safe

2 Parents and Children School authorities often find that parents in a hurry can endanger the lives of children who are near the school or in the schoolyard. When dropping off or picking up a child at school: respect the areas reserved for school buses; stop your vehicle in the area designated by the school; watch out for children around you; obey the speed limit; obey the specific traffic rules for the schoolyard. Since 1986, there have been no deaths among school-age children who were on a school bus. The greatest risk for children is outside the bus and comes from the bus itself or from neighbouring traffic. Here are the rules of conduct children must follow. Remind them regularly. On the way to school Get to the bus stop in advance without running. Use the sidewalk when going to or coming from the bus stop. If there is no sidewalk, walk on the left side of the street, facing traffic. At the bus stop Wait in line for the bus without pushing the other students. Wait until the bus has come to a full stop before approaching it. Get on the bus in single file, while holding the handrail and without shoving. Go to your seat and sit down immediately. On the bus Don t disturb the driver. Remain seated and stay quiet. Keep your head and arms inside the bus. Don t put anything in the aisle and put your things away in your bag. Keep your bag with you or store it under the seat. Do not throw anything inside or outside the bus.

3 Getting off the bus It s dangerous to stay too close to the bus: Wait until the bus comes to a full stop before leaving your seat. Get off the bus in single file, without pushing and while holding onto the handrail. Move away from the bus quickly and never go behind the bus. Tell the driver when an object has fallen under the bus or near the wheels. If you can t speak to the driver, ask an adult for help or wait until the bus has moved away before picking up the object. CAUTION! Danger zone! Crossing the street Take ten steps after leaving the bus before crossing, so that you can see the driver and the driver can also see you. Make eye contact with the bus driver before you cross the street. Walk in front of the bus, then look left and right, then left again, before crossing.note* Cross quickly but without running.note* Follow the 10-step rule! note* You must also follow these rules when the crossing control arm is in use.

4 Drivers, Be Careful! Pay attention to what is happening around you Obey traffic signs and the speed limit when near school buses and schools. School buses may prevent you from seeing children, pedestrians and cyclists. School zone or a crosswalk for school children ahead It s yellow... prepare to stop School bus drivers must signal ahead of time their intention to stop in order to let school children get on or off the bus. They do this to slow down oncoming traffic and vehicles behind the school bus. The advance warning helps avoid sudden braking or acceleration. 1. Prepare to stop when the school bus turns on its yellow warning lights or its hazard lights. Bring your vehicle to a full stop at least five metres away 2. from the bus when its flashing red lights and its stop sign are in operation. Beginning of a school zone Another sign indicates the periods during which a lower speed limit applies in the school zone. School crosswalk You must yield the right of way to pedestrians who have entered the crosswalk. School bus stop ahead This sign lets you know that a school bus may have stopped ahead to take on or let off school children. Beware! Passing a school bus in either direction when its flashing RED lights are operating results in a fine of $200 to $300 and 9 demerit points. However, it is not mandatory to stop when driving towards a school bus that is in a lane separated from yours by a median.

5 Why no seat belts? School buses are designed with many passenger protection mechanisms: a compartmentalization system consisting of high-back, energy-absorbing, deformable seats located close together, a heavy-duty chassis, side impact bars, and a raised floor that places the passengers above the point of impact. They are safe even without seatbelts. Tests have shown that school bus seat belts could actually make children less safe because: they cannot be adjusted to protect children properly; they require rigid seats that are less shock absorbent. For more information, go to the Transport Canada website. Driving a bus School bus drivers must hold a Class 2 or 4B driver s licence and obtain a certificate of competence, which must be renewed every three years. Bus drivers have many responsibilities. In addition to completing several routes a day with a bus filled with school children, they must: obey road signs, traffic signals and traffic rules, and comply with the requirements of the Highway Safety Code and all regulations related to driving a heavy vehicle; conduct an inspection (circle check) of the vehicle; ensure the safety of passengers both inside and outside the bus at all times; maintain discipline; follow routes and schedules determined by the school board. This is not always an easy job. If your child reports a problem on the bus, contact the school authorities or the person in charge of school bus transportation at the school board. They are in the best position to deal with the situation. Original text in French C-6046-A (16-08)

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