School buses are one of the safest means of transport worldwide. This is due to the fact that they are the most regulated vehicles on the road. Below are some school bus rules of the road and safety statistics, which makes them safer for students:
- On a two-lane road, other drivers are supposed to stop when a school bus’s red lights are flashing, and a stop sign is out. This rule also applies on the undivided roads, roads that are divided to separate directions of travel and in the direction where the school bus is traveling.
- Other drivers are required to stop and wait when a school bus is loading and unloading passengers. Failure to stop may lead to suspension of a driver’s license for up to one year or be fined up to $2000 for repeating the same offense.
- It is against the law for anybody to throw or try to attack school buses. If caught, one is subject to a fine of up to $500 and a jail term of one year.
- School bus drivers are prohibited from driving faster than 64.37 kilometers per hour or 40 miles per hour while having students on board unless they are on limited access highways.
- A school bus driver is supposed to start driving when all the kids have sat and fastened their seat belts. He/she is not allowed carrying more students than required. If caught, they can be fined up to $500.
- Drivers are not allowed to operate mobile phones while on a moving bus. They are only allowed to operate it during emergencies. In case of an emergency, the driver is required to stop the bus and contact the relevant authorities. The emergencies may include reporting a breakdown, emergency medical attention needed by one of the passengers, an accident on the roadway or requesting for police intervention for the passengers’ safety.
According to statistics on school bus accidents in Massachusetts, more than 380 accidents occur annually. Reports indicate that majority of those who are injured during the accidents involving school buses are bicyclists and pedestrians. About 160 of those accidents are major while the rest are minor. In both cases, there are few to no fatalities.