Transportation

School BusMichael Adkins, Director of Transportation

998 South Boston Road
Danville, VA  24541
Phone 434.799.6451
Fax 434.799.8873

NATIONAL SCHOOL BUS SAFETY WEEK,
October 19-23, 2015

Every year, National School Bus Safety Week reminds educators, students, parents, and the public about the importance of safety inside and outside of the nearly 500,000 yellow school buses that transport children to and from school daily. During the week, safety tips are issued, police awareness is increased, and all student transporters are reminded and introduced to safety programs to increase student, driver, and public awareness of school bus safety.

Danville Public Schools utilize over 50 buses to transport an average of 2700 students daily. Our buses complete 320+ routes each day covering 640,000 miles in a normal school year. Our drivers and staff work tirelessly to provide a safe and secure environment for our children.

School buses represent the safest way for children to be transported to and from school and school-related activities. Throughout the year, drivers, parents and educators must partner together to keep the children safe on the bus. It’s an important job.

National School Bus Safety Week provides the perfect opportunity to work together and teach all students the safety rules they should follow when traveling to and from school. Danville Public Schools recognizes the efforts of our drivers, parents, and educators in “going the extra mile” to make sure our precious cargo arrives safely everyday. Please take the time to thank a bus driver for all they do to ensure the safe transport of the students of the Danville Public Schools community.

Bus Transportation Safety

  • The district provides transportation to and from school for all students who live one mile from their assigned school.  The one mile limit is determined by traveling the most direct walking route between a student's house and the nearest entry point to the school.  If a dangerous situation exists along the route to the school and the student lives within the one mile limit, parents should contact Transportation Services 804/799-6451 and speak to the Transportation Manager.

  • Bus drivers must meet the following requirements prior to transporting students:
    1.  Hold a valid VA CDL license, Class B with P & S Air Brakes endorsements.
    2.  Undergo driving record evaluation, not to exceed more than two moving
    violations within one year.
    3.  Pass drug and alcohol testing.
    4.  Pass a physical test every year as regulated by the Department of Education.
    5.  Successfully complete a minimum of 40 hours training; 20 hours of classroom ,
    20 hours behind the wheel training, loading and unloading, driving skills
    course, rural and city driving and emergency procedures.
    6. Complete a minimum of eight hours of in-service training yearly.

  • Every school bus operated at public expense for the purpose of transporting school children shall be equipped with traffic warning devices of the type prescribed in the Standards and Specifications of the Board of Education. The warning lights shall indicate when the bus is about to stop, is stopped, and when it is loading or discharging children. The warning lights shall be in operation for a distance of not less than 100 feet before the bus stops if the lawful speed limit is less than 35 miles per hour, and for a distance of at least 200 feet before the bus stops if the lawful speed limit is 35 miles per hour or more. When the school bus is equipped with a warning sign, the sign shall be extended when, and only when, the bus is stopped to load or discharge children.

  •  A school bus transporting school pupils shall be operated at a safe speed not in excess of 35 miles per hour, or minimum legal speed allowable; except, on interstate highways and when no stops are made to pick up or discharge pupils between the point of origin and the point of destination the speed shall not be in excess of 45 miles per hour.

  •  The total number who can be seated shall determine the number of pupils who may ride a school bus. During the first 30 instructional days of the school year standees may be permitted to stand for short distances in the aisle back of the driver's seat. Pupils may not be permitted to stand after the first 30 instructional days, except under unforeseen emergency conditions as identified by the local school board.

  •  The school bus driver shall open and close the entrance door and keep it securely closed while the bus is in motion. This responsibility shall not be delegated to any other person.

  •  When loading or discharging pupils on the highway, stops shall be made in the right-hand lane and shall be made only at designated points where the bus can be clearly seen for a safe distance from both directions. While stopped, the driver shall keep the school bus warning devices in operation to warn approaching traffic to stop and allow pupils to cross the highway safely. Pupils who must cross the road shall be required to cross in front of the bus. They shall be required to walk to a point 10 feet or more in front of the bus, stop before reaching a position in line with the left side of the bus, and await a signal from the bus driver to start across the highway. On dual highways divided by a physical barrier or unpaved area, buses shall be routed so that pupils will be picked up and discharged on the side of the road on which they live.

  •  Persons operating a school bus equipped with a safety lap belt assembly shall wear it while school children are being transported. (For statutory provision, see Section 46.1-287.2).  Pupils riding in Type II buses equipped with passenger restraint belts shall wear them while the bus is in motion.

  • Emergency exit drills shall be practiced by all pupil riders at least twice a year, the first occurring during the first 30 instructional days.

  •  All school vehicles, including school buses operated by city transit systems used primarily to transport public school pupils to and from school and school activity events, shall be inspected and maintained by competent mechanics immediately before being used in the fall and at least once every 30 operating days or every 2,500 miles traveled, whichever occurs first. The inspections and maintenance shall be conducted in accordance with provisions of the "Preventive Maintenance Manual for Virginia School Buses" and recorded on the prescribed inspection forms. If the inspection and maintenance are not made in a shop operated by the school board or the local governing body, the school board shall designate one or more inspection centers to make the inspections and require a copy of the results of the inspections to be furnished to the division superintendent.

  •  A written report, on forms furnished by the Board of Education, of any accidents involving school buses, pupils, and personnel who ride school buses (including injury or death while crossing the road, waiting at bus stops, etc.) shall be sent to the State Supervisor of Pupil Transportation by the Division Superintendent within five (5) days from the date of the accident. The report shall give the apparent cause of the accident, the extent of injuries to pupils or others, and the amount of property damage.

  •  All school buses in operation shall be carefully scheduled on routes to schools. The schedule shall show the time the bus starts in the morning, the time it leaves each point at which pupils are taken on, and the time of arrival at school. It shall also show the bus’s odometer reading at the beginning of the route where the first pupil is picked up, where other stops are made, and the reading upon arrival at school. One copy of such schedule shall be kept in the bus and one copy shall be kept in the office of the Division Superintendent of Schools.

  •  School buses shall stop, as required by law, at railway grade crossing. The bus driver shall open the entrance door of the bus and determine when it is safe for the vehicle to cross the railroad tracks. The entrance door shall be closed when the bus is in motion. No stop need be made at any grade crossing where traffic is directed by a police officer or a green traffic-control signal.

  •  School Boards shall require that a report on the number of pupils transported and miles traveled be made by all school bus drivers to the designated school officials.

  •  A record showing maintenance performed and operational cost shall be maintained for each publicly owned bus.

  •  The lettered identification and traffic warning lights on the front and rear of the school buses shall be covered with opaque detachable material when they are used for purposes other than to transport pupils on regular routes to and from school, or on special trips to participate in contests of various kinds, and for supplementary education purposes. This does not apply when the bus is being used to transport elderly or mentally or physically handicapped persons. (See Section 22.1-183)

  •  The use of posters, stickers, or advertising material of any kind is prohibited in or on school buses.

  •  No object shall be placed in the bus that will restrict the passage to the entrance or emergency doors.

  •  A copy of bus rider safety rules shall be sent to parents at the beginning of the school year with an acknowledgment to be returned to the school principal. The information shall include a request that parents or their designee accompany their young children to and from the bus stop.