The National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation Services (NASDPTS) has posted safety information online to assist school bus drivers in avoiding potentially disastrous collisions with trains.
Last month, School Transportation News reported that Operation Lifesaver had unveiled a new rail safety poster for school bus drivers. "Manage Your Route to School Safety" included a synopsis of the six most important duties school bus drivers should perform when approaching railroad crossings. They included: noticing signage that indicates an approaching railroad crossing; checking traffic behind the bus; quieting the students and turning off the bus radio and fan; stopping the bus at least 15 feet from the crossing; and looking and listening in both directions for an oncoming train. Only if no train is in sight only then should the driver continue across the tracks.
Mike Simmons, president of NASDPTS, informed members that Operation Lifesaver asked the association to post online the electronic version of this safety road map. He added that the material, which includes a school bus training video, is not meant as a substitute for more thorough training of all school bus operators in the step-by-step crossing procedures applicable in your state.
"However, this is good material to be used in conjunction with your training that you are already doing with operators on your state and local railroad crossing procedures," said Simmons.