School Bus Accidents

A school bus accident is any incident, no matter how minor, involving a school bus while students are onboard. In every instance, the driver is instructed to follow a procedure. First, the driver is to immediately stop and secure the vehicle. He/she must check passengers for any injuries and visually check the passengers in other vehicle(s). The driver must then contact dispatch with the exact location of the accident and report if there are any known or suspected injuries to passengers of the bus or other vehicle(s). The driver is to maintain calm, reassure students, and keep them in the seats where they were sitting at the time of the accident. Unless there is a risk of fire or other hazardous conditions that warrant evacuation, no one is allowed to exit the bus. As soon as possible, the driver should begin to confirm name, address, phone number, and where the student was sitting at the time of the accident. If a parent/teacher/chaperone is present, they may check on the status of the children but they may not remove students from the bus until authorized to do so by the police.

The dispatcher calls and relays information to the Police Department, Emergency Medical Service (if necessary), bus company Safety Supervisor/Manager, and Board of Education Transportation Department. An individual or representative from each will arrive at the scene, after which the Transportation Department will notify the building principal as soon as possible.

As necessary, parents then will be contacted via school administrators to be advised of the accident. Information will also be conveyed from the Transportation Department.

Note: Since the police are called to the scene of every bus accident significant delays could evolve.

When bus accidents occur on the way home from school, many parents arrive at the scene and want to take their child(ren) off the bus. Students may be released to parents, only after the police have arrived, and names and addresses of all students have been documented.

D. Perkins
Trumbull Board of Education
Transportation Coordinator