These guidelines reflect the priority of safety for students getting to and from bus stops and while waiting for buses. The guidelines have been developed with the recognition that, most of the time, school bus routes and stops must exist in less than ideal environments. School transportation professionals always balance the designation of “ideal” school bus stops with the realities of what the bus route will allow as impacted by local roadway conditions, school budgets and other limitations.
The Sumner School District Transportation personnel go out to elementary schools each year to educate young bus riders on bus rider safety. Parents are also encouraged to walk with young students to their child’s bus stop which provides parents a chance to assess and teach pedestrian safety skills.
- Minimize or avoid multi-lane roads where pedestrians are most at risk of injury.
- Avoid stops that require backing up. If backing up is unavoidable, pick up students before backing. At afternoon drop off the students will be dropped off after backing up and being in position to drive forward.
- Select stops that provide sufficient visibility for both pedestrians and drivers. There needs to be enough sight distance so drivers, bus drivers and students waiting at the stop all can see each other which would be a distance of 200 feet. The following can impact sight distances: curves and hills, sunrise/sunset times, trees and other vegetation, and on-street parked cars and approaching vehicles.
SCHOOL BUS STOP CHARACTERISTICS
- Minimize the need for students to cross a street from the stop to the bus regardless of the type of roadway.
- Students must not cross multi-lane roads
- Pick locations that offer adequate lighting
- Choose locations with sufficient space for students and parents to wait at least 12 feet from the roadway.
- Consider the number of students who will use a stop. While the presence of multiple students confers safety, too many students increases the likelihood of behavioral problems.
- Students are taught to cross in front of the bus.
STUDENT'S ROUTE BETWEEN HOME AND SCHOOL BUS STOP
School bus stops should be located so that students and parents have adequate pathways to walk from home. Although it may not always be possible to provide all these features, desirable pedestrian routes:
- Minimize or avoid street crossing
- Have traffic controls (stop signs or traffic signals) to provide assistance to pedestrians if crossing streets cannot be avoided
- Have sufficient space to walk that is separated from traffic (ideally, a sidewalk or path separated from the roadway if available)
- Walking distance (sometimes varies with age of rider)
- Do not require walking on high-volume, high speed roads
- Increasing distance between stops due to economic and time constraints
PARENT AND COMMUNITY CONCERNS
Safety is the primary consideration when evaluating a parent’s complaint, not personal circumstances or convenience. However, some situations may require special consideration.
- Contact Transportation with concerns or request for change in service and complete the Request for Change in Bus Service form
- Transportation Supervisor determines if issue can be resolved, or if it needs to go to the Transportation Advisory Committee for review.
- Transportation Advisory Committee meets to review request/visit site to evaluate request.
- If the decision is deemed unsatisfactory, parents may appeal to the Transportation Advisory Committee.
- Should this decision not satisfy the request, parents have the right to appeal for reconsideration. Please call 253-891-6400 to set up a meeting for review.
PROCESS FOR MAKING A REQUEST
- Parents or community members may make requests to the District to change bus service.
- All requests will be submitted in writing to the Transportation Supervisor using the “Request for Change in Bus Service” form from the Transportation Office or on the District Web site.
- A committee of at least three (3) parents or community members will be selected as the Transportation Committee to consider the unresolved requests for change in bus service.
- A date will be set and all requestors will be notified that the committee will be meeting to review the request.
- A copy of each request will be sent to the committee members prior to the hearing.