Fun Facts & Happenings around the Transportation Department

"This is How We Do It" School Bus Video Spoof

  • Q. How wide and long is a school bus?
    A. In the United States, school buses are restricted to a maximum width of 102 inches and a maximum length of 45 ft.

    Q. How heavy is a school bus?
    A. Depending on its size, the weight can range from 15,000 to 36,000+ pounds.

    Q. How many people can a school bus hold?
    A. Depending on specifications, school buses are currently designed with a seating capacity with up to 90 passengers.

    Q. How many miles to a gallon does a school bus get?
    A. Depending on specifications, anywhere between 6 and 9.

    Q. How safe is the school bus?
    A. In fact, the NHTSA says that traveling by school bus is seven times safer than traveling by car or truck. For perspective, while more than 30,000 people are killed in traffic crashes every year, six school-age children die as passengers in school buses. [1]

    Q. How much does it cost for a school bus?
    A. On average, roughly $110,000

    Q. I’m scared my child will be left behind on the school bus. How do you make sure this won’t happen?
    A. Each school bus is equipped with the Child Reminder System (CRS). This system requires the driver to walk to the back of the bus and press a button prior to exiting the vehicle. Should the driver attempt to exit the vehicle before pressing the button, the vehicle horn sounds continuously until the button is pressed. This insures that the driver walks through the school bus.

    Q. How are school bus drivers trained? Can they be trusted with my child?
    A. School bus drivers are the most highly trained, tested and scrutinized drivers on the road. All school bus drivers must obtain a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) and must pass written and skills tests to obtain a School Bus Endorsement.
    Once they have their licenses, drivers receive specialized classroom and behind-the-wheel training in driving a school bus, student loading/unloading procedures, student evacuation, student behavior and security management, and emergency medical procedures. School bus drivers are carefully monitored by the school district and/or company that manage school bus fleets to ensure that they continue to meet strict safety standards. In addition, all school bus drivers are required to participate in pre-employment, random and post-accident drug and alcohol testing, undergo frequent driving record checks, and pass periodic medical exams to ensure they are physically qualified. Many of these drivers also must pass background checks prior to employment. [2]

    Q. Is the bus driver a safe person?
    A. In addition to their rigorous training, all school bus drivers are required to participate in pre-employment, random and post-accident drug and alcohol testing, undergo frequent driving record checks, and pass periodic medical exams to ensure they are physically qualified. Many of these drivers also must pass background checks prior to employment.[3]

    Q. What can parents do to help keep kids safe on and off the school bus?
    A. The American School Bus Council is working hard to keep children safe, but there are things you and your child can do to take an active role in staying safe.
    Walk your child to and from the bus stop. If possible, wait with him or her until the bus arrives.

    Be alert to traffic. Check both ways for cars before stepping off the bus.

    Wait for the bus driver’s signal before crossing the street.

    Walk in front of the bus; never walk behind the bus to cross the street.

    While waiting for the bus, stay in a safe place away from the street.

    Before leaving the sidewalk, look for the flashing lights.

    Never go under the bus to retrieve something you’ve dropped.

    Teach your child the importance of staying seated on the bus.

    Get to know your bus driver. He or she is a trained professional who sees your child every day; he or she would be happy to tell you about the safety features on the bus and the responsibility drivers have for keeping their young passengers safe.

    Get to know the parents of other riders. You will learn about the other children your riding along with your child. [4]

    Q. Are school buses required to be yellow?
    A. State and local governments establish policy for student transportation, including how school buses should be identified. However, NHTSA provides recommendations to the States on operational aspects of school bus and pupil transportation safety programs in the form of Highway Safety Program Guideline No. 17, Pupil Transportation Safety. Among other matters, Guideline 17 recommends that school buses be painted “National School Bus Glossy Yellow” and have other uniform identifying characteristics. The uniformity of school bus appearance helps motorists identify the vehicles as school buses.[5]

    [1] https://www.nhtsa.gov/road-safety/school-buses
    [2] http://www.americanschoolbuscouncil.org/school-bus-information-and-statistics/faq#how-are-school-bus-drivers-trained-can-they
    [3] http://www.americanschoolbuscouncil.org/school-bus-information-and-statistics/faq#is-the-bus-driver-a-safe-person
    [4] http://www.americanschoolbuscouncil.org/school-bus-information-and-statistics/faq#what-can-parents-do-to-help-keep-kids-safe-on-and-off-the-school-bus
    [5] https://www.nhtsa.gov/road-safety/school-buses