Bell Avenue Elementary School

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Checking in with the Transportation Department

During School Bus Safety Week, we want to remind parents, students, and the community about the importance of school bus safety, and the importance of stopping for the red lights.

"All of our buses have the 8-Way system which is designed just like a stop light,” according to Jim Norton, District Dispatcher and Trainer.  “When the yellow lights are flashing the school bus is preparing to stop.  When the red lights come on, all traffic is required to stop and not pass the school bus.  Besides saving the life of a child, you could save yourself a hefty fine of $500."     

While ensuring cars are stopping on red is key, school bus safety is a top priority for the Robla School District, and that starts with the buses and the drivers themselves! 

Robla Bus Drivers“Bus drivers are the first person the students see in the morning.  We ask our drivers to smile and say good morning to the students and try to make a connection,” says Mrs. Patty Brown, Director of Transportation for Robla School District.  “We have one driver that greets each child with a good morning greeting and a hand shake or high five. The kids really enjoy that.”

And according to students, they agree.  "When I get on the bus in the morning, the bus driver says hello to me every day and it makes me feel good," says Robla Elementary 4th Grade student Antonio.

The Transportation Department currently employees 11 drivers who have a combined behind the bus wheel experience of 140 years, two of which are also State Certified Driver Trainers!  Not only do the drivers have extensive experience, but the department prides itself on providing additional training hours to drivers. 

“Our drivers receive 10 hours or more of training every year (in addition to the state required training) and this is one of the reasons we have an excellent track record for no injury accidents,” explains Mrs. Brown.  “Our last at fault accident was when a driver bumped into a cement curb, however we have not had an At-Fault injury accident in over 20 years!” 

In recent years, the Transportation Department has also been focusing on upgrading the fleet of buses that serve the students throughout the Robla School District.  As it stands today, the bus fleet has an average age of 6.2 years for the large buses, and 10.5 years for the Special Education small buses.  The department recently purchased a brand new wheel chair bus to replace a bus built in 1985! 

Besides the new buses, the Transportation Department installed a camera and GPS system in all buses last year and with that, “The system has allowed us to monitor student behavior, know exactly where the buses are at all times, and ensure student safety,” stated Mrs. Brown.  “The camera system along with the Positive Behavior Intervention System (PBIS), has reduced the number of student behavior referrals by 40%.” 

While having a well-trained driver, a shiny new bus, and a camera system are amazing to feel safe, it requires everyone to take part, and that includes the riders.  When asked what students can do to make things easier on drivers, Mrs. Brown says, “Students should arrive at a bus stop 5 minutes before the pickup time.  They should line up 12 feet from where the bus will stop and wait for the bus doors to open before walking toward the bus.  When on the bus, they should speak quietly and practice their "Ready to Ride" rules.”

School Bus

To do your part and help out and be safe on the bus, check out the link below to read up on district bus polices and rules. And for those riding in cars, remember to Stop on Red!

For additional tips and information on school bus safety, please check out the pages below: