Local programs that offer transportation services must provide training for parents and children on pedestrian safety and riding practices. Program directors and staff can refer to this resource to further their understanding of what must be emphasized in transportation and pedestrian safety education of children and parents. The training provided to children must be developmentally appropriate and an integral part of their program's experiences.
The Top 25 Action Items identify the most important elements that school bus operations can incorporate into their security plans. Program staff can use this tip sheet when developing plans for emergency preparedness, as it relates to transporting young children. These items are based on effective school practices identified by a variety of sources, including the U.S. Department of Education, Federal Transit Administration (FTA) and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).
In order to stress the importance of proper driver training, especially in the area of loading and unloading procedures, the National Safety Council recommends that each state adopt appropriate driver training instructions that include such procedures. Program directors can refer to these recommendations to ensure that this training is available to drivers. Program directors are also encouraged to consult their state transportation authorities for further information.
Criteria are identified to assist Head Start agencies in evaluating candidates for Bus Driver. Local needs must be considered when a program establishes its own transportation services.
Transporting Children with Disabilities
The interior of vehicles used to transport children for field trips and out-of-program activities should be maintained at a temperature comfortable to children. All vehicles should be locked when not in use, head counts of children should be taken before and after transporting to prevent a child from being left in a vehicle, and children should never be left in a vehicle unattended.
Early care and education programs that provide transportation for any purpose to children, parents/guardians, staff, and others should not use 15-passenger vans when avoidable.
In a Head Start program, the bus is not just a vehicle to transport children; it is also a learning environment. This article can be used by classroom teachers to further their understanding of creating age-appropriate activities for children who ride the bus. The classroom teacher can help transportation staff become a resource for the classroom; likewise, transportation staff can be an integral part of the classroom.
Each year, approximately 4,000 train/vehicle collisions occur at railroad crossings. In an effort to avert these types of crashes, the National Safety Council has recommended specific procedures for school bus drivers. Head Start grantees and delegates need to note that these recommendations must be considered within the context of individual state laws and regulations.