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Transportation Policy and Bus Stop Safety Procedures

 
The Atlanta Public Schools transportation policy dictates that bus stops are placed outside the shortest 1 mile navigation of elementary schools, and 1½ mile navigation of middle and high schools.  Students living less than 1 or 1 ½ miles of their school are assigned to the walk-zone. Read important walking safety tips here, or for more information about APS transportation policies you can jump to your topic of interest from the link list below.
 
For all transportation questions and concerns, contact the APS Department of Transportation at (404) 802-5500.
 
If you have questions regarding home and community support, contact Dr. Jacquelyn Anthony, APS Social Work Coordinator at
(404) 802-1699, or contact your school social worker.  
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

Introduction

Safe bus stops are determined by a student’s ability to enter/exit a school transportation vehicle and cross the roadway with ease. A safe bus stop is not only dictated by the route that students must take from home to its location, but it is also determined by the conditions in which a student must wait for transport.

 

 

Georgia Laws Regarding Bus Stops:

1.      GA law, 40-6-164, after stopping to allow children to disembark from the bus, it shall be unlawful for the driver of the school bus to proceed until all children who need to cross the roadway, have done so safely.

2.      GA law, 40-6-163, duty of driver of vehicle meeting or overtaking school bus; reporting of violations - sections (a) & (b) describe how cars and trucks will stop when the stop arm is out during child loading and unloading (with exceptions on a divided highway). In section (c) every school bus driver who observes a violation of subsection (a) of this Code section is authorized and directed to record the facts and report it to local law enforcement.

 

 

Bus Stop Requirements

Every bus stop at Atlanta Public Schools must meet the following requirements:

1.      The stop must be 40 feet (length of 72 passenger bus) from any intersection, stop sign or traffic control signal.

2.      No child will be required to cross multiple lanes of traffic at a bus stop.

3.      All other vehicles should be able to see the bus stop for 300 feet in all directions.

4.      The students need to stand at least 12 feet from the path of the bus at the bus stop.

5.      Stops should not be closer than 1/4th of a mile apart.

6.      Bus stops will not be assigned in the following types of areas:

a.      Cul-de-sacs

b.      Railroad crossings

c.      High volume traffic roads, streets, highways and interstates

d.      Intersections and corners

e.      Temporary hazard zones or no transport zones identified by the city

f.       Private roads or property

 

 

Guidelines for Assigning Safe Bus Stops

The following guidelines dictate the manner in which bus stops are scheduled for all bus services, including special needs:

1.      Bus stops are placed outside the shortest 1 mile navigation of elementary schools and 1½ mile navigation of middle and high schools.  Students living within a 1 or 1 ½ mile route of the school are assigned to the walk-zone. 

2.      Bus stops can be up to ½ mile apart and students could be required to walk up to ¼ mile to the nearest bus stop.  The parent or designee must accompany their student(s) at the bus stop at drop-off and pick-up for students eight years old and younger.  A student eight years and under may be brought back to their school in the afternoon if a parent, guardian or designee is not present at the bus stop to receive them or if they otherwise appear to have no appropriate supervision. This requirement also applies to Special Needs Students who must have adult supervision during drop-off. The guidelines below are mandated by Georgia’s Department of Family and Children Services (DFACS) division as it relates to students requiring adult supervision.(http://dfcs.hrd.georgia.gov)

 

Age

Guideline

8 and under

Should never be left alone, even for short periods of time.

Between 9 and 12

Based on level of maturity, can be left at home for brief periods of time.

13 and older

Generally can be left as babysitters, with the exception of children in foster care.  It is not recommended, however, that 13 year olds baby sit infants, small children and children that require special attention due to medical conditions.



3.      A bus driver must be able to see the adult or designee so that appropriate identification can be made.  Parents, guardians or designees must get out of their vehicle.  Please stand at the bus stop five minutes prior to the bus arrival time.  Drivers will only release students at their designated bus stops.  All bus stop changes must be submitted in writing to the transportation department.  Only then can a student be reassigned to an alternate bus stop location.

4.      Bus stops are not positioned in a curve, on a hill or any area where the bus may not be seen from 300 feet.

5.      Avoid positioning bus stops that require the driver to drive over an operational railroad crossing.

6.      Select bus stop locations with sidewalks if possible; or as an alternative with a considerable safe distance from the road.

7.      Bus stops are placed in locations based on the bus having the ability to enter and exit without a backward motion.

8.      A bus will wait no longer than two minutes at any stop for late students.  If a bus is delayed, it can still only allow two additional waiting minutes for each stop thereafter, where the need has been identified.

9.      Unscheduled stops for latecomers or unapproved exceptions are prohibited.  School loading zones are considered designated stops.  Therefore once a bus has departed from a stop it must continue on its route to the next scheduled stop.  All requests for deviation must be transmitted to Dispatch for review and approval.

10.   Bus stops must not be positioned where a student would be required to cross multi-lane roads or railroad crossings.

11.  If the stop requires the bus to turn around:

       1) Student pick-up
               -Pick-up students first, then the bus turns around.
       2) Student drop off
               -Bus turns around, and then drops off the students. 

12.   In the event a bus stop is positioned to the left of the bus, the driver should ensure students are aware of the following:

a.      Students should cross at least three steps ahead of the bus

b.      Students should still remain cognizant of unauthorized moving vehicles and following the driver’s instructions at all times.

c.      Wait for the bus to come to a complete stop, the eight-way lights have been activated and the stop arm has been fully extended to the left of the bus.

13.   The Atlanta Public Schools Department of Transportation will not position stops in areas where there is a proven record of high crime.

 

 

Unauthorized Passengers

The only passengers allowed on a student transportation vehicle are as follows:

1.      Employees of the Atlanta Public Schools

2.      Any student enrolled in Atlanta Public Schools

3.      Others as approved by the Director of Transportation or his/her designee.

 

 

The following rules have serious potential consequence if not followed. Students who are waiting at the school bus stop and who are loading or unloading a school bus can be at risk of being hit by either the school bus or by a passing vehicle. Students riding a school bus can also be at risk if not seated and seated correctly.

 

 

At the Bus Stop

Get up and get ready on time. Arrive at the bus stop five minutes before the bus is scheduled to come.

Have all items in your book bag before you leave home so you do not drop anything.  Wait at the bus stop in a safe place, 12 feet away from the road.  Stay on your side of the road until the bus comes. Wait in an orderly group. Form an orderly line as the bus approaches, with the first student in line standing 12 feet away from traffic. Keep electronic equipment packed away as you prepare to board. Never use an electronic device or wear ear buds when boarding.


Return home and get help or phone for assistance if you miss the bus.

·         NEVER chase after the bus.

·         NEVER walk to another bus stop.

·         NEVER allow your parents to drive you to another bus stop.

Your bus driver will not be expecting you.

 
 

The School Bus Danger Zone

The Danger Zone is the 12 foot area that surrounds a stopped school bus where the bus driver might not see you or where cars might be moving when you are getting on and off the school bus. Stay away from the dangerous areas where it is difficult for the bus driver to see you with their direct vision.

·         Near the right and left front tires

·         Near the right rear tires

·         Near the front door


danger

 

Make sure you are always able to see the driver when outside the school bus. NEVER return to the bus for something you left behind or dropped without getting the bus driver’s attention.

·         Leave any object and move to a point, out of the danger zone.

·         Then get the driver’s attention by putting your hands and arms above your head and waving.

·         Wait for the driver to see you and give you instructions before returning to the bus or before picking up anything dropped near the bus. If you do not get the driver’s attention, you should not attempt to retrieve the item.

Be aware of the danger of passing cars that do not stop like they should.

·         The danger may be from cars passing from the rear on the left side of the bus.

·         Or from cars passing from all directions on both the left and right side of the bus.

Always be alert and focused when near the Danger Zone. 

 

 

Loading on the Roadway

If you DO NOT have to cross the road to GET ON the bus:

·       Stay 12 feet off the road and wait for the bus to stop.

·       Look to be sure all cars have stopped before walking towards the bus.

·       Look for moving cars as you walk forward.

If you DO have to cross the road to GET ON the bus:

·         Wait 12 feet off the road and wait for the bus to stop and for the driver’s signal for when it is safe to cross from where you are standing.

·         Look for moving cars as you walk to the edge of the road.

·         Stop at the edge of the road and look both ways to be sure that any moving cars come to a stop.

·         Look both ways for moving cars while walking straight across the road.

·         Cross 12 feet in front of the bus.

Make sure you can see the bus driver, so they can see you. Leave any item if dropped and move to a point out of the 12 foot Danger Zone. Do not retrieve anything without first getting the attention of the bus driver by waving your hands above your head and then receiving instruction from the bus driver. Stay away from the front and rear bus tires. Look for moving cars when getting on the bus. Listen for the danger signal (blowing of the bus horn). Immediately look for and avoid the danger of passing cars that did not stop, if you hear the bus horn blow.

 

 

Unloading on the Roadway

Exit your bus only at your assigned stop. Remain seated until the bus comes to a full stop. Put away any electronic equipment before standing to exit the bus. Never use an electronic device or wear ear buds until you are safely 12 feet off the roadway. When going home, wait in the bus aisle for the driver to tell you it is okay to begin to leave the bus. When exiting the bus, make sure book bag straps, purses, clothing drawstrings, etc. do not get caught on the handrail or in the door. When going home, look for moving cars in all directions, especially look to your right before stepping off the bus.

If you DO NOT have to cross the road AFTER GETTING OFF the bus:

·       Look for cars in both directions as you walk straight away from the bus, in full view of the driver.

·       Keep walking until you are out of the Danger Zone, 12 feet away from the bus.

If you DO have to cross the road AFTER GETTING OFF the bus:

·         Walk straight away from the right front of the bus, in the bus driver’s full view.

·         Always be able to see the bus driver (so they can see you).

·         Wait for the driver’s signal that it is safe to cross two different times

o        At the end of the crossing gate

o        At the center of the road

o        Look for cars to your left and right while walking directly across and exiting 12 feet off the road.

o        NEVER cross behind the bus.

Leave any item if dropped or left on the bus and move to a point out of the 12 foot Danger Zone. Do not retrieve anything without first getting the attention of the bus driver by waving your hands above your head and then receiving instruction from the bus driver. Stay away from the front and rear bus tires. Listen for the danger signal (blowing of the bus horn). Immediately look for and avoid the danger of passing cars that did not stop, if you hear the bus horn blow. Never get mail from a roadside mailbox. If a car is coming and loses control, it might run off the road.

 
 

Unloading at School

Make sure book bag straps, purses, clothing drawstrings, etc. do not get caught on the handrail or in the door.

Walk (don’t run) straight towards the school. Stay away from the bus, so your driver can see you.  Leave any item if dropped or left on the bus and move to a point out of the 12 foot Danger Zone. Do not retrieve anything without first getting the attention of the bus driver by waving your hands above your head and then receiving instruction from the bus driver.  Keep walking until you get out of the danger zone, 12 feet away from the bus. Never walk or run between parked cars and buses.

 

 

Loading at School

Walk straight towards the bus door and be sure your driver can see you.

Leave any item if dropped near the bus and move to a point out of the 12 foot Danger Zone. Do not retrieve anything without first getting the attention of the bus driver by waving your hands above your head and then receiving instruction from the bus driver.

Stay away from the front and rear bus tires and promptly board the bus.

Never chase after a moving bus. Once the buses start moving – you should stop moving.

 

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