Special safety precautions for school-bus drivers
- When the bus is moving, the doors should be safely closed, but must not be locked.
- Do not allow passengers to obstruct your vision to the front, sides or rear.
- Never permit an unauthorized person to sit in the driver’s seat, operate the vehicle or any of its controls.
- No lunch pails, books or parcels should be in the aisles or step wells at any time.
- Never leave the vehicle without first stopping the engine, setting the brakes, putting the transmission on its lowest gear or park position and removing the ignition key. Some automatic transmission vehicles do not have a “park” position. If this is the case, the vehicle should be parked with the transmission in “neutral” and the parking brake set.
- When a school-bus is disabled on a roadway when lights are required, flares or reflectors must be placed 30 metres (100 ft.) in front and behind the vehicle.
- When loading and unloading students, and you cannot account for one, you should first secure the bus and check around and underneath the bus.
Reversing a school-bus
Use care and caution when you are backing a school-bus. Use the mirrors and back up only in designated locations including on dead-end roads in rural areas. If you are in a non-designated location, have a responsible person assist and give directions. The spotter must stand behind the bus and be visible to the driver in the mirror. If a spotter is not available, the driver must leave the bus and check the vehicle path for obstructions. Upon returning inside the bus, open the window and listen while backing slowly and cautiously. Being alert and watching traffic conditions around the vehicle at all times. Drivers should not back up their vehicles on school grounds or at loading or unloading stops, or zones without proper guidance and signals from a responsible person outside the bus.
Stopping at railway crossings
School buses must stop at least five metres (16.5 ft.) from the nearest rail at all railway crossings. While stopped, the driver must open the bus door and look and listen for any approaching trains. The driver must not change gears when the bus is actually crossing the tracks. The flashing lights and stop arm must not be activated in this situation.
When stopped for a period of time waiting at an intersection or railway crossing, it is a safe practice to place the gear-shift lever in neutral and release the clutch. Always set the parking brake.