What You Should Know About School Bus Safety

The Danger Zone

A animated photo of a school bus driving up to pick up students.

"The Danger Zone" is the twelve-foot area around the school bus. This area is especially dangerous because students can stand in places in which the driver of the bus cannot see.

Students should always use extreme caution when in "The Danger Zone." Upon exiting the bus, students are instructed to take twelve large steps away from the bus. If the K-8 student(s) requires crossing the street in front of the bus, the students must wait for the school bus driver to cross them.

California's best-kept secret... The Yellow School Bus!

The Yellow School Bus Transportation is the safest, most economical and friendly method of transporting California's school children.

According to the National Safety Council in 1996, Yellow School Buses are:

  • 172 times safer than your family automobile

  • 8 times safer than passenger trains

  • 8 times safer than scheduled airlines

  • 4 times safer than transit buses

  • 4 times safer than intercity buses

The Department of Transportation requires that many additional safety features be built into every school bus which is not found on any other public or private vehicle.

All school buses are inspected daily by the school bus drivers and annually by the California Highway Patrol to ensure that the buses meet safety standards. In addition, District mechanics perform comprehensive inspections every 45 days or 3,000 miles, whichever comes first.

School bus drivers are required, by law, to receive more training than any other driver in the state. A school bus driver's background is checked by the Department of Justice and/or the FBI prior to receiving a license to drive a school bus. School bus drivers must have a current Department of Transportation Medical Certificate (DL-51) and pass the written CHP First Aid Test or have a current First Aid Card. School bus drivers must participate in a pre-employment drug and alcohol test and are randomly tested thereafter. All school bus drivers must attend regularly scheduled safety meetings and attend additional training sessions to maintain the skills needed to safely transport students. School bus drivers must have and maintain a clean driving record, both professionally and personally.

Authority of the Driver - 5 C.C.R. 14103.(a)

Pupils transported in a school bus or in a school pupil activity bus shall be under the authority of, and responsible directly to the driver of the bus, and the driver shall be held responsible for the orderly conduct of the pupils while they are on the bus or being escorted across the street, highway, or road. Continued disorderly conduct or persistent refusal to submit to the authority of the driver shall be sufficient reason for a pupil to be denied transportation. A bus driver shall not require any pupil to leave the bus in-route between home and school and other destinations. Governing boards shall adopt rules to enforce this section. Such rules shall include, but not be limited to, specific administrative procedures relating to the suspension of riding privileges and shall be made available to parents, pupils, teachers, and other interested parties.