School Buses

School Buses - NHTSA's Module on School Bus Safety

Teigen, Anne and Douglas Shinkle. “Traffic Safety and Public Health: State Legislative Action 2011.” 36 Transportation Series (February 2012). This report summarizes the many bills regarding traffic safety issues that were considered by state legislatures during the 2011 legislative sessions. It also provides information about current safety issues.

Cook, Crystal and Douglas Shinkle. “School Bus Safety.” National Conference of State Legislatures, Transportation Review (July 2012). This report provides an overview of information regarding school bus safety. It also analyzes state action on a variety of different issues, including seatbelts, cellular phone use, driver licensing and illegally passing school buses.

Savage, Melissa A., Anne Teigen and Nicholas Farber. “Traffic Safety and Public Health: State Legislative Action 2009.” 34  Transportation Series (February 2010). Issues examined in this report include occupant protection, distracted driving, driver licensing, impaired driving, aggressive driving, speed limits, motorcycle helmets, automated enforcement, school bus safety, and pedestrian and bicycle safety.

Smither, Dereece and Jenny Percer. “School Bus Seat Belt and Carryover Effects in Elementary School Children.” National Highway Traffic Safety Administration: Washington, DC: October, 2009. The purpose of this paper is to explore the proposition that the lack of seat belts on school buses increases the likelihood that elementary school children will not use seat belts in personal vehicles. The paper reviews the limited evidence on this “carryover” effect and looks at current knowledge and understanding of human learning and cognitive development as it applies to the potential carryover effects of no seat belts on school buses to seat belt use in personal vehicles. This paper focuses specifically on children ages 5 to 10.

School Transportation-Related Crashes.” Traffic Safety Facts 2009 Data. U.S. Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration: Washington, DC: March 2011. This resource reports statistics that involve school transportation-related crashes. These crashes are defined as those which involve, either directly or indirectly, a school bus body vehicle, or a non-school bus functioning as a school bus, transporting children to or from school-related activities.

Use of Nonconforming Vehicles for School Transportation.” U.S. Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration: Washington, DC. These are the federal requirements for nonconforming vehicles that are used for school transportation.

The Number of Persons That Can Safely Sit on a School Bus Seat.” U.S. Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration: Washington, DC. This resource describes the federal regulations surround the number of persons that can safely sit on a school bus seat.

Best Practices Guide: Reducing the Illegal Passing of School Buses.” U.S. Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Washington, DC. This guide has three purposes: (1) to encourage people to actively work to reduce stop-arm violations, (2) to share the experiences and attempts of others at reducing stop-arm violations and (3) offer suggestions to keep established programs effective.

School Bus Safety Assurance Program: Recall Listing, January 1998 through June 2005.” U.S. Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Washington, DC. Its success is dependent on the willingness of all concerned with the transportation of children make every effort to ensure that buses are corrected as soon as possible.

Fact Sheet: School Buses are Designed to be Safer than Passenger Vehicles in Avoiding Crashes and Preventing Injury.” U.S. Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Washington, DC.

Fact Sheet: School Buses are the Safest Mode of Transportation for Getting Children Back and Forth to School.” U.S. Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Washington, DC.

Fact Sheet: School Buses Keep an Annual Estimated 17.3 Million Cars Off Roads Surrounding Schools Each Morning.” U.S. Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Washington, DC.

Proper Use of Child Safety Restraint Systems in School Buses.” U.S. Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Washington, DC. Designed to assist in correctly securing pre-school age children in child safety restraint systems and properly securing the system to a school bus.

Re-Use of Child Restraint Systems in School Buses after Minor Crashes.” U.S. Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Washington, DC. NHTSA recommends that child restraint systems be replaced following a crash in order to ensure a continued high level of crash protection for child passengers.

Seat Belts on School Buses.” U.S. Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Washington, DC: May, 2006. NHTSA requires all new school buses to meet safety standards in addition to those that apply to all other passenger motor vehicles.  These include requirements for improved emergency exits, roof structure, seating and fuel systems, and bus body joint integrity.  NHTSA also works with each State on school bus safety and occupant protection programs.  School bus safety is one of our highest priorities. The resource includes NHTSA’s answers to often-asked questions about seat belts on large (over 10,000 lb GVWR) school buses.

Selecting School Bus Stop Locations: A Guide for School Transportation Professionals.” U.S. Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Washington, DC: July, 2010. Steps for the designation of school bus stops and strategies to support safe pedestrian behavior by students between their homes and their bus stops.

Child Safety Restraint Systems (CSRS) on School Buses.” U.S. Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Washington, DC. NHTSA has created a video for school bus drivers and school bus monitors detailing the steps necessary to properly install 3 types of a CSRS (rear-facing, front-facing, and safety vest) on a school bus seat, as well as the proper place of a child in the CSRS. The video illustrates various sections of the NHTSA Child Passenger Safety Restraint Systems on School Buses National Training to provide demonstration as a companion enhancement resource for trainers and attendees of this course.

School Bus Driver In-Service Safety Series.” U.S. Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Washington, DC. This refresher training provides nine lesson modules on driving a school bus, which is frequently requested by school bus drivers and pupil transportation supervisors.

McCray, Linda B. and John Brewer. “Child Safety Research in School Buses.” U.S. Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Washington, DC. This paper describe past, present and near-term school bus research efforts.

Special Report 269: The Relative Risks of School Travel – A National Perspective and Guidance for Local Community Risk Assessment.” National Academy of Sciences, Transportation Research Board of the National Academies, Committee on School Transportation. Washington, DC: 2002. This final report provides a synthesis of the information gathered by the committee, which encompassed the data, analytical tools, and methods currently available for the development of a risk management framework for assessing the relative safety of various modes of travel.

Flammability Standards for School Buses.” Position Paper, National Association of State Directors of Public Transportation Services, School Bus Manufacturers Technical Council. Steamboat Springs, CO: October 2011. For states and school districts that want enhanced flammability performance, we recommend adopting the School Bus Seat Upholstery Fire Block Test that is a part of the National School Transportation Specifications and Procedures. In addition to this standard, there are fire suppression systems and other available measures that have been used on special needs buses and are required in some states. The SBMTC recommended considering the use of fire suppression systems on special needs buses and fire evacuation training pursuant to RESOLUTION NO. 8: ENGINE COMPARTMENT FIRE PROTECTION from the 2005National School Transportation Specifications and Procedures. NASDPTS and the SBMTC also support required passenger evacuation drills that ensure students know what to do in the event of an emergency.

Advertising on School Buses.” Position Paper, National Association of State Directors of Public Transportation Services, School Bus Manufacturers Technical Council. Steamboat Springs, CO: March, 2011. In recent years, a number of states and local school districts have considered allowing the placement of advertisements on the exterior of school buses. Only a few school districts have proceeded with such programs. Most states continue to prohibit advertising on school buses. There are a number of issues that are relevant to advertising on school buses, including potential safety consequences, the content of the advertising, and potential legal challenges to any content restrictions.