Safety

10 Tips to Bolster Bus Checks for Sleepers

Mike Guzaldo
Posted on October 5, 2015
istock image mbbirdy

istock image mbbirdy

As transportation managers, our most important responsibility is making sure all children get delivered to and from school safe and on time.

In our line of work, one of the worst things we can hear is, “We have a lost child.” If that does happen, the first thing I do is have the bus searched.

Since 2001, the only incident I’ve had of a sleeping student left on a school bus was by a seasoned 25-year driver. Ironically, this driver also acted as a mid-day dispatcher who did radio reminders to check for sleeping children.

I have spent many waking hours thinking about how to prevent this type of incident from happening again. Managers must provide leadership in this area by establishing clear procedures for drivers to follow, enforcing consequences for not following those procedures, and providing reminders and incentives for drivers to check their buses for sleepers.

Here are 10 recommendations for managers to consider.

Drivers who find this dummy, named Will, on their bus return it to the manager for a reward.
Drivers who find this dummy, named Will, on their bus return it to the manager for a reward.
Place a sticker on the bus
By Thomas McMahon
10. A new program in New Jersey is providing free stickers that remind school bus drivers to check their bus for sleeping children.

The program is a partnership between the state Department of Children and Families and the School Transportation Supervisors of New Jersey. The two organizations developed a sticker to be placed inside school buses, above the passenger door, so drivers will see it as they exit.

 
This new sticker is available for New Jersey operations to place inside their school buses, above the passenger door, so drivers will see it as they exit.
This new sticker is available for New Jersey operations to place inside their school buses, above the passenger door, so drivers will see it as they exit.
The sticker reads, “Is everyone off the bus? Check everywhere and be sure.”


Ray Kuehner, president of the School Transportation Supervisors of New Jersey, described the program as “another tool to use in helping drivers avoid an extremely serious situation by leaving a sleeping child on their vehicle.”

New Jersey school districts and school bus contractors can order quantities of the free sticker by emailing Deryl McElvarr at [email protected].

Comments ( 2 )
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  • Mike Guzaldo

     | about 3 years ago

    It's all awareness. Placing it after routes morning or afternoon also you can place the "sleeper" in a place where the drivers will see it on a regular basis. I had an office drivers had to pass 4 times a day they couldn't miss.

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