Policy Revision: 8/6/14, 10/11/17
Pupil transportation responsibilities involve the combined effort of distinct groups of individuals: District personnel, Transportation Director, School Traffic Safety Committee, drivers, pupils, and parents. Each of these groups share in the responsibility for pupils’ safety while adhering to school policies and the State’s Safe School Policies.
The Board shall implement the pupil transportation policies established by the State, implementing the laws and regulations relating to pupil transportation. In fulfilling these responsibilities, the Board shall:
- Oversee the pupil transportation operations within the District, including training programs for all transportation personnel, review of school bus routes and evaluation of the pupil transportation system, and the investigation and reporting of accidents and other transportation problems;
- Provide resource material and establish, as an integral part of the school curriculum, instruction in passenger safety that complies with Highway Safety Program Standard 17 (Standards for Utah School Buses and Operations, Appendix A);
- Provide for the continuous supervision of loading and unloading areas at or near the school and the conduct of periodic emergency evacuation drills;
- Provide for adequate supervision for pupils whose bus schedule necessitates their early arrival or late departure from school; and
- Promote public understanding of and support for the school transportation program in general.
Standards for Utah School Buses and Operations, pp. 64-65 (2004)
School bus drivers have direct responsibility for passenger safety on all routes. Drivers are to maintain proper student discipline when loading, unloading, and transporting students to and from school. Drivers are to be courteous, friendly, fair, and consistent in maintaining discipline on the buses. In addition, school bus drivers will do the following:
- Be familiar with all rules, policies, and procedures affecting pupil transportation.
- Establish communication with each building administrator and work to ensure proper conduct and communication.
- Establish proper rapport with pupils. Instruct pupils in proper behavior, general procedures, and drills.
- Drivers may suspend students who create discipline problems on the bus for violation of District policy.
- On daily routes, the driver may not stop the bus and load or unload students except at designated stops.
- Follow the District’sBus Conduct Policy in dealing with busing problems.
- The teacher/supervisoron an activity bus trip is responsible for discipline. Drivers are to intervene only if safety is involved or if permission is granted by the teacher/supervisor. On regular routes, the driver is both driver and supervisor.
- Maintain order as a safety practice and stress the following points:
- Minimize interior noise.
- Controlled passenger movement.
- Orderly entrance and exit.
- No movement of objects.
- Silence at railroad crossings.
- No transportation of unauthorized persons or materials.
- Discussions and seat assignment to handle minor infractions.
- Use of appropriate procedures in dealing with discipline problems or student misconduct.
Proper pupil behavior is important because a pupil’s distraction of the driver can cause accidents. Pupils should be aware of and abide by reasonable regulations to enhance safety. The pupil should clearly understand the consequences of unacceptable behavior. The following procedures will protect the pupil’s rights and maintain order on the bus:
- Pupils must be aware that they are responsible for their actions and behavior.
- Pupils must know what the rules and procedures are according to the District’sBus Conduct Policy and abide by them.
- Pupils must display proper respect for the rights and comfort of others.
- Pupils should realize that school bus transportation can be denied if they do not conduct themselves properly.
- Pupils should be aware that any driver distraction is potentially hazardous to their safety.
Parents and guardians have the following responsibilities:
- Becoming familiar with rules and regulations as indicated in the District’sBus Conduct Policy and encouraging children to abide by them.
- Assisting children in understanding rules and regulations.
- Recognizing their responsibility for the actions of their children.
- Effecting desirable changes in their behavior.
- Supporting safe-ridingprocedures.
- Supporting procedures for emergency procedures.
- Supporting procedures for safely crossing the highway before boarding and after leaving the bus.
- Supporting procedures to follow in emergencies.
- Supporting respect for the rights and privileges of others.
South Sanpete School District shall select an employee to serve as Transportation Director who shall have a basic understanding of the State’s Standards for Utah School Buses and Operations.
- Provide assistance to the Board in planning, budgeting, and forecasting the purchasing and selling of District vehicles.
- Assist school officials in school site selection and busing issues.
- Oversee the maintenance of the buses and maintain a pre-trip inspection program.
- Recruit, select, and supervise instruction of personnel.
- Determine regular bus routes and schedules; and also review and approve hazardous routes.
- Develop and implement pupil safety programs as needed.
- Cooperate with Superintendent, teachers, transportation personnel, students, parents, and public and private agencies to improve quality and safety through the School Traffic Safety Committee.
- In compliance with the Utah Highway Patrol and Risk Management, investigate and report accidents.
- Maintain records and prepare reports for USBE (November 1 and July 15).
- Plan and implement procedures for field trips, bus requests, driver assignments, substitute drivers, etc.
- Oversee the School Traffic Safety Committee for the District.
- Oversee the Bus Safety Committee, which reviews bus accidents.
- Review complaints, concerns, and safety issues concerning drivers and the over-all transportation department of the District and take the necessary steps to address and to correct them.
- Oversee bus inspection—
School buses are required to pass an annual safety inspection and may be subject to an additional random inspection by the Utah Highway Patrol. The District will remove from public highways any buses that the Department of Public Safety or the Utah Highway Patrol determines to have defects endangering the safety of passengers until such defects have been remedied.
* Any policies and standards not currently reflected in South Sanpete School District’s Transportation Policies shall be observed as listed in the State’s guide on “Standards for Utah School Buses and Operations.”
School Traffic Safety Committee—
The purpose of the School Traffic Safety Committee will be to meet at least annually and to handle specific problems and issues relating to school bus safety for each school in the District as specified in Utah Code 53A-3-402-(16). The committee reviews and recommends school traffic safety improvements, boundary changes for safety, student-routing plans, and school safety program criteria.
The School Traffic Safety Committee shall be composed of:
- One representative from the District.
- One PTA representativefrom the District
- A representativefrom the county or municipality.
- A representativefrom a state or local law enforcement.
- A state or local traffic safety engineer (DOT representative).
- The District’sTransportation Director.
- A certified District Bus Trainer.
- The Committee shall receive suggestions from school community councils, parents, teachers and others and recommend school traffic safety improvements and boundary changes to enhance safety.
- The Committee shall annually review and submit to the Department of Transportation and affected municipalities and counties a child access routing plan for each elementary, middle, and junior high school within the District.
- The Committee shall consult with the Utah Safety Council and the Utah Division of Family Health Services and shall provide training to all District school children in grades K-5 on school crossing safety and use.
- The Committee shall help ensure the District’s compliance with rules made by the Transportation Commission under Utah Code § 41-6a-303 and may establish subcommittees as needed to assist in accomplishing its duties.
Rental of School Buses—
The general philosophy of the South Sanpete Board of Education is that transportation equipment purchased by the South Sanpete School District is to be used primarily for school purposes. Taxpayers shall not be expected to subsidize busing equipment or personnel not necessary for school purposes.
Only entities that have liability coverage by Risk Management may rent South Sanpete School buses. No bus shall be rented unless the Transportation Director, Business Administrator, and Utah Risk Management have first approved such rental.
The District must have on file a copy of the renter’s insurance coverage/policy from Risk Management. The District shall designate one of its certified bus drivers to be the driver for rental requests. The rental bus may not leave the State of Utah according to liability coverage from the Utah Risk Management division.
The District will not compete with any Sanpete County business renting buses. The amount of rent charged by the District will be at least equal to the amount necessary for maintenance and to cover overhead costs of renting the bus.
The rental fee shall include: the total round trip mileage (based upon the District’s current bus rate per mile) and driver expenses which includes, wages, FICA, Retirement, per diem, and lodging (if applicable).
All bus rentals must be accompanied with a School Bus Rental Application and a copy of the Certificate of Insurance from Risk Management.