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Series 707.2AR - School Bus Safety

Adopted: January 1990
Revised: September 2019

1. Safety Information – The Transportation Department will facilitate a variety of programs to inform students and others about student transportation safety, including:

1.1 Fifth grade safety patrols on all elementary school bus routes;

1.2 Bus evacuation drills at least twice a year at all schools for students who ride the bus to and from school;

1.3 Safety education programs and assemblies for elementary school students, and

1.4 Publicity to parents and the public about their responsibility as drivers in the presence of school buses.

2. School Bus Stop Arm Violations

2.1 In accordance with Minnesota Statute 169.444, Safety of school children; duties of other drivers, drivers of cars, trucks and other vehicles must stop at least 20 feet from a school bus when the bus is stopped in order to pick up or drop off children and is extending the stop signal arm and operating flashing red lights.

2.2 School bus drivers who observe a violation of this law are to report it to their supervisor on Procedure 707.2.2P, School Bus Stop Arm Violation Report.

3. Emergency Procedures – Emergency situations will be responded to as described in the following District 196 publications: Emergency Procedures for Bus Drivers Handbook; Procedure 707.2.3P, School Bus Accidents and the Transportation Department Employee Manual.

4. Guidelines for Classifications and Services for Hazardous Crossings – The district will provide student transportation services in areas that are designated by the district as hazardous, as described below.

4.1 Railroad tracks – Busing will be provided for students in kindergarten-grade 12 who have railroad tracks between their home and their school.

4.2 Principal arterial streets (as defined by the Metropolitan Council) – Busing will be provided for students in kindergarten-grade12 who have a principal arterial street between their home and their school.

4.3 Minor arterial streets (as defined by the Metropolitan Council) – Busing will be provided for students in kindergarten-grade 12 who have a minor arterial street between their home and their school.

4.4 Collector streets (as defined by the Metropolitan Council) – Busing will be provided for students in kindergarten-grade 12 who have a collector street between their home and their school if the collector street meets at least three of the following five criteria:

4.4.1 Street width greater than 50 feet at point of crossing;

4.4.2 No sidewalks or walkways on either side of the street;

4.4.3 Posted speed limit is 35 miles per hour or greater at point of crossing;

4.4.4 No traffic control device (semaphore, stop sign, etc.) and/or

4.4.5 Average daily traffic volume greater than 20,000 vehicles (as determined by Dakota County, with a 3.5 percent inflationary factor added by the district for each year that varies from the year of the data).

5. Student Behavior Expectations on District Vehicles

5.1 While riding in a district vehicle, students are expected to obey all school and district rules, including those in Regulation 503.3AR, Student Behavior Expectations and Consequences for Misbehavior. (A “district vehicle” is defined as school buses, vans and cars owned or leased by the district, and cars and other vehicles owned by district staff and authorized by the district for transporting students.)

5.2 The bus driver is responsible for maintaining appropriate student behavior on the bus and is authorized to assign students to specific seats. The driver will report students who violate the rules to the student’s principal or the Transportation Department student conduct specialist.

5.3 Video cameras are placed in buses as a deterrent for misbehavior and investigation of misbehavior. Students are subject to discipline and referral to law enforcement for incidents of misconduct caught on video. If a video or audio recording device is placed on a school bus, the bus also must contain a sign or signs, conspicuously placed, notifying riders that their conversations or actions may be recorded.

5.4 Students who violate school or district rules while riding in a district vehicle will be disciplined in accordance with Regulation 503.3AR, Student Behavior Expectations and Consequences for Misbehavior and may be denied transportation privileges in addition to school consequences . If a student’s transportation privileges are denied because of the student’s misbehavior, the student’s parent(s) or guardian(s) will be responsible for transporting the student to and from school.

5.5 Students who violate school or district rules while riding in a district vehicle will be disciplined in accordance with Regulation 503.3AR, Student Behavior Expectations and Consequences for Misbehavior and may be denied transportation privileges in addition to school consequences . If a student’s transportation privileges are denied because of the student’s misbehavior, the student’s parent(s) or guardian(s) will be responsible for transporting the student to and from school. 

5.6 Records of misbehavior on the school bus or at a bus stop will be forwarded to the student’s school and will be retained in the same manner as other student discipline records. Reports of serious misconduct will be sent to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety. Records may also be maintained in the district’s Transportation Department.

5.7 Students will not be put off the bus by the bus driver for behavioral reasons until the bus reaches the student’s destination.

5.8 Any student who is issued a citation trespassing them from a school property will lose their bus riding privileges to/from that property.

5.9 Student behavior policies may be adjusted as required by federal and state laws and regulations for students who have individual education plans (IEPs).

5.10 Once students board the bus they must remain on the bus until they have reached their school or designated stop.

6. Student Behavior Expectations at Bus Stops – All school and district rules apply also while students are at bus stops. (Refer to Regulation 503.3AR, Student Behavior Expectations and Consequences for Misbehavior, for more information.) In addition, students are to abide by the following rules while at bus stops:

6.1 Arrive at the bus stop five minutes before the scheduled pick-up time. (In order to keep on schedule, the bus driver cannot wait for late students.);

6.2 Stay away from the street, road or highway while waiting for the bus;

6.3 Wait until the bus stops before approaching the bus;

6.4 After getting off the bus, move away from the bus;

6.5 Get on or off the bus safely (avoid any actions which could cause injury to self or others), and

6.6 If it is necessary to cross the street, always cross in front of the bus where the driver can see the crossing, and wait for the driver to signal that it is safe to cross.

7. Parent/Guardian Responsibilities for Transportation Safety – Parents and guardians play an important role in transportation safety. They are asked to help students remain safe by doing the following:

7.1 Become familiar with district rules and policies regarding school bus safety;

7.2 Help students understand safety rules, and encourage students to abide by the rules;

7.3 Recognize their responsibility for the actions of their children;

7.4 Support safe riding practices and reasonable discipline efforts;

7.5 Support procedures for emergency evacuation and other district emergency procedures;

7.6 Communicate safety concerns to school administrators;

7.7 Monitor bus stops, if possible, and

7.8 Support efforts to improve school bus safety.

References: 

  • Metropolitan Development Guide, Metropolitan Council, December 1996
  • Minnesota Statute 123B.90, School bus safety training
  • Minnesota Statute 123B.91, School district bus safety responsibilities
  • Minnesota Statute 169.28, Certain vehicles to stop at railroad crossing
  • Minnesota Statute 169.444, Safety of school children; duties of other drivers
  • Minnesota Statute 169.447, School bus and Head Start bus safety

Regulations/707.2AR/9-25-19