- Last Updated: 16 June 2020 16 June 2020
A 2019 NASDPTS survey identified 95,000 illegal passes across 39 states in a single day; that’s over 17 million near misses in one school year.
Given this information, now is a good time to refresh ourselves on how to share the roads with school buses, and create a safer environment for students. The Sioux Falls School District wants each student to get to school, and back home again, safely, every day. While school buses are statistically the safest way for students to travel, there are things everyone can do to keep school buses, and students, safe.
Help keep your child safe by reviewing our School Bus SMART rules at home. These rules are posted at schools, on buses, in school newsletters, and are available in videos your child will see. But if they also hear them from you, they’ll be more likely to remember them.
School Bus SMART
Stay in your seat while the bus is moving
For your safety and the safety of everyone around you.
Manage yourself and your space on the bus
Keep items in your bag and pick up after yourself.
Act like you are in the classroom
The exact same rules, expectations, and consequences apply on the bus.
Remain inside the bus at all times
This means hands, feet, heads, and any possessions – to keep everyone safe.
Treat other people and property with respect
Your driver is working hard to get you to and from school safely, other students deserve to be treated the same way you want to be treated, the bus belongs to all students, and you share a bus stop with a neighborhood. Act like it.
If your students have questions about bus safety, encourage them to ask their driver, teachers, counselors or principals. If your student encounters bullying on a bus, in any way, they should tell an adult at school and an adult at home.
Parents and Community
Number one: Help us keep buses safe by following the law and do not pass a school bus with red lights flashing. "FLASHING RED means KIDS AHEAD"!
Pre-warning “amber” lights are activated at least 300 to 500 feet before stopping. When the “amber” lights flash, you should immediately prepare to stop your vehicle.
Remember these rules for the “type of road” you meet a bus on:
- Any 3 lanes or less road, drivers from all directions “must STOP” when the bus has the red lights flashing.
- Any 4 lanes or more road, drivers traveling in the SAME direction as the bus need to stop behind the bus, when you see the red lights flashing.
- Any 4 lanes or more road, drivers traveling in the OPPOSITE direction as the bus does not need to stop when you see the red lights flashing.
We need your help to keep students safe when they cross streets.
Leave plenty of room around school buses in traffic and be mindful that buses are required to stop at all train crossings.
About School Bus Inc. and Our Drivers
Continuing Training and Education:
Drivers and aides attended two 8-hour training session in August, before the start of the school year.
School Bus, Inc. is a member of the SDSTA (South Dakota School Transportation Association), MSBOA (Minnesota School Bus Operators Association), MCBOA (Minnesota Coach Bus Operators Association), UMA (United Motor Coach Association), NST A (National School Transportation Association), NAPT (National Association for Pupil Transportation), United States Chamber of Commerce, National Federation of Independent Businesses, Better Business Bureau, Sioux Falls Chamber of Commerce, Forward Sioux Falls, Sioux Falls Development Foundation and Sioux Falls Construction Committee.
Chuck Hey is the past president of MSBOA and NSTA. Steve Hey is a past Board member of NSTA. Jim Shafer is currently the Treasurer of SDSTA. Jim continues to be involved with the State of South Dakota as a past member of the School Bus Rules, Construction, and Operations Review Committee. This review committee \Vas a result of the School Bus National Minimum Safety Standards Conference held in Warrensburg, Missouri. This conference is held once every five years and was attended by Chuck Hey and Jim Shafer in 1985 and 1990. Jim Shafer attended 1995, 2000, and the 2010 conference. Val Nardini attended the 2005 conference. Jim continues to work with the Department of Education concerning school bus rules and regulations.
Driver/Aide Safety Awards & Company Awards:
Safety awards were handed out to 67 drivers and 36 aides. These awards were for accident-free driving for the drivers and student safety for the aides. Jim Shafer (2000) and the safety director (2015) received NSTA's prestigious Golden Merit Award for outstanding operating achievements in areas of safety, driver training, business practice, and superior service to the schools, the community, and the pupil transportation industry.
Why are School Buses Safe?
Safety features including the color and size of school buses, height, reinforced sides, flashing red lights, cross-view mirrors, and crossing and stop sign arms ensure children are protected and secure on and off the bus. The compartmentalization of the area where students also protect their safety.