Summer is flying by quickly, and before you know it, kids will be heading back to school again. As you know, here at CPI we offer a variety of different resources to help educators keep students safe. But when we talk about keeping them safe in a learning environment, we sometimes forget about another important part in their day where safety and well-being are important—in their travels to and from school.
As a father with four children, I know how important it is for a bus driver to not only drive safely, but also be aware of other drivers on the road. You trust that he knows how to do these things. But what about when you throw in outside factors like other children who are misbehaving? The bus driver then needs to turn his attention to these students—while still keeping his eyes on the road, creating a dangerous situation.
Even though many of these determining factors are external, there are some practical steps a bus driver can follow to ensure a safe experience for all aboard.
For example, it sounds simple, but if a driver just develops a small relationship with each child he transports, it can go a long way. This shows each student as soon as they step foot on that bus that the driver knows and personally cares about him, making it less likely for the student to do something that could cause an unpleasant situation and cause the driver to divert his attention from the road.
In addition to parents and teachers, the bus driver is an authority figure in a child’s life. Therefore, it is important the driver develops a positive image as a role model to remind the students of this fact. To do so, he should maintain a calm manner, be respectful, and listen to students—just as he expects students to treat him.
As authority figures and role models, bus drivers also need to create rules for students. There is no need to create too many or too complicated rules, just basic safety guidelines that make every bus trip safe for everyone.
These are just a few tips to increase school bus safety. If you’d like to read more, visit our School Bus Safety Tips page in the CPI Knowledge Base.
Find out more about how you can boost your behavior management skills.