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t can be dizzying to think of the many aspects of safety training that the student transportation industry must consider day in and day out. On the standard train- ing front, there is drug and alcohol screening for drivers, but don’t forget criminal background checks. If driver applicants pass these checks, they must undergo behind-the-wheel safety training, but they also need emergency evacuation training. Tey need be certified in providing first aid and CPR, and they need child passenger securement training. Do they also know the hours of service regulations designed to keep them rested

and ready to safely transport in the morning? What about training on child behavior management, especially for students with special needs? Does your district train drivers on pre- and post-trip inspections? What about the importance of walking the aisle and scanning above and below each

and every bench seat for sleeping children? Oh, and they should also be looking for book bags that were left behind, because one never knows these days what could be inside. How about training on loading and unloading zone safety? Do the “rock and roll” behind the wheel to ensure they see everything they need to before pulling up to or away from the stop? Tese questions do not even begin to disucss security, a topic I wrote about in our January

issue. Security should at the very least be considered a subpart to safety (the very reason that the January edition is now dedicated to the topic). Is transportation staff trained to know what to look for that might be suspicious in and around the bus, while on route or even in or near the bus yard? Te above are just a few of the many training elements responsible for an unparalleled

record of safety for the yellow bus, and that’s not to mention all that goes into meeting 13 specific Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards for school buses or myriad pieces of facto- ry-installed and aftermarket safety equipment and software solutions. But the industry cannot, and refuses to, rest on its laurels. While May is our chosen

month for featuring many of the above topics, safety in reality is practiced daily so trans- portation staff, students and parents alike can feel safe and secure in body and psyche. Tat's why school districts and private bus companies nationwide hold frequent safety meetings that reinforce these principles to keep the community’s collective eyes focused on the safety ball. For student transporters, training opportunities are essentially endless. Most pro-

fessionals don’t bat an eyelid because of their passionate, unwavering concern for the students placed in their care. But, at the same time, frustration can set it. With so many topics to cover, there’s never a finish line for training — or our reporting of those topics. Te tape continues moving farther down the road because risk is ever present. In this business, complacency can quickly equate to death and injury. Te various topics can be just as frustrating for magazine editors when planning editions.

We continually face making these decisions on what to write about in the magazine, save for our Website, develop into a workshop at the STN EXPO or Transporting Students with Disabilities and Preschoolers National Conference, or simply table altogether. As you read this month’s edition and hone your safety skills, please keep these factors in

mind. We encourage you to offer us feedback on the direction we take our editorial each month. While your job is keeping students in your care safe — and each other, of course — it is our job to tell your stories, share the nuances and connect the industry. Join our team, just as we have joined yours. 

10 School Transportation News May 2013

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