Metro School Bus Drivers Express Concerns about Safety
Several Metro school bus drivers are concerned with safety while they’re behind the wheel due to distractions caused by students.
According to a report by wsmv.com, Metro Schools has received reports of 48 incidents occurring on buses and 51 occurring at bus stops during the nine weeks that the 2015-2016 school year has been in session. Metro Police became involved in 28 of the incidents that occurred on buses and made 12 arrests in connection with those reports.
The incidents vary, with 17 fights being reported, 21 reports of unruly or disruptive students, and 3 incidents of weapons being brought onto buses.
In addition to fearing for their safety due to distractions, bus drivers also say they’re overworked due to a shortage of drivers. A spokesperson for Metro Schools said that the school district runs between 600 and 650 buses twice every school day, and that most bus drivers complete three routes in the morning and three routes in the afternoon.
How Can You Keep Your Children Safe on the School Bus?
Riding the school bus is something thousands of children do on a daily basis in Nashville and throughout Middle Tennessee. It’s a convenient way for children to get to school and back home, but it can also pose dangers—especially if they don’t follow the rules or engage in behavior that is distracting to the bus driver. To make sure your children do their part in making bus rides safer, review the following safety tips with them:
- Wait at the bus stop and never in the road.
Teach your children to always wait for their bus at the bus stop and to stay out of the road. In addition, make sure they know to never walk around or behind the bus for any reason—even if traffic is stopped.
- Keep belongings, such as backpacks and gym bags, out of the aisle.
The aisle of the bus should always be kept clear to allow students to easily move around and exit the bus when it reaches their stop. Make sure your children know to always keep their belongings in their seats or in the floor under their seats and never in the aisle, as that can pose serious safety hazards for other students.
- Stay quiet and avoid distracting the driver.
In order to do their jobs safely and effectively, bus drivers should never be distracted. Teach your children to speak in low voices on the bus and avoid getting out of their seats, yelling, playing loud music, or doing anything that can cause a distraction.
- Learn how to operate emergency exits.
In the event of an accident or other emergency, your children may have to exit the bus by using an emergency exit located on the sides, top, or rear of the bus. Make sure they are familiar with how to operate emergency exits and prepared to do so if the need arises.
- Always buckle up if seatbelts are available.
Not all school buses are equipped with seatbelts, but if your children’s buses include these crucial safety features, make sure your children buckle up every time they get on the bus.
- Never cross the street unless a crossing guard, bus monitor, or teacher says it’s okay.
When the bus stops at your children’s school, make sure they know to stay on the bus until someone who is supervising the bus stop tells the children it’s safe to exit the bus.
Bus safety is a major priority for parents, teachers, and school administrators throughout Middle Tennessee, and the best way to make buses safer for both students and drivers is to make sure everyone knows and understands these basic bus safety tips.
If your child was injured in a bus accident caused by negligence or carelessness, you may be eligible to receive compensation for his or her injuries. To speak with our Nashville bus accident attorneys, contact Matt Hardin Law today by dialing (615) 200-1111 or filling out a free online consultation form.