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Students and parents/carers are responsible for the safe arrival at, and departure from bus stops, and while boarding and disembarking the bus. The attitude and behaviours of students not only affect their own safety and wellbeing, but also the comfort, safety and wellbeing of others.

Safe behaviour when waiting for the bus
  • Leave home with plenty of time to get to the bus stop, and always walk on the footpath where possible.
  • Wait at the stop until your bus arrives, even if the bus is running late.
  • Remain quiet and orderly while waiting for the bus, including at bus interchanges.
  • Buses have an over-hang at the front. This means that when the bus is pulling into the stop the front of the bus might come up over the footpath slightly. This is why you must:
    • Stand well back from the road when waiting for the bus (one metre or more where possible).
    • Wait until the bus stops completely before approaching the door.
    • Allow other passengers to leave the bus before stepping onto the bus in a single line.

Safe behaviour on board the bus
  • Always treat the driver with respect. They have the important job of getting you and others to and from school safely.
  • Speak quietly and do not create unnecessary noise that may distract the driver. If playing music, use headphones or keep it at a low volume.
  • Move towards the back of the bus (or as instructed by the bus driver) and take your seat. Remain in your seat, wear a seatbelt where seatbelts are fitted, and do not move around the bus unnecessarily.
  • If you do not have a seat, move toward the back of the bus and hold on to the handgrip.
  • School bags should be placed under the seat, in the racks, or on your lap. They must not block the aisles, doors or emergency exits.
  • Make sure you know where the emergency exit is in case you ever need to use it.
  • Always show care, courtesy and common sense while travelling on the bus, including using appropriate language when speaking to other passengers. Swearing is not tolerated or acceptable behaviour on the school bus.
  • Always keep your feet on the ground and your limbs within the bus.
  • Take all rubbish with you when leaving the bus.
  • Avoid eating or drinking except for medical reasons or where the bus driver gives you permission.
  • Report any vandalism of the bus to your driver when it is safe to do so.
  • Sit in a designated seat if instructed by the bus driver.

Safe behaviour when leaving the bus
  • Wait until the bus has stopped before moving to exit the bus. Be aware of outside conditions at your stop and exit in an orderly fashion.
  • Once you are of the bus, stand back from the road and the bus.
  • Never cross the road until the bus has moved away and you can see clearly in all directions.
  • Cross the road where and when it is safe to do so, use crossings/traffic lights where available.
  • If an adult meets you at the bus stop, make sure they have read the special safety message below.

What to do in an emergency
  • Stay calm and listen to all instructions given by the bus driver and follow them closely.
  • If the driver is hurt, leave the bus, assemble in a group in a safe place away from the bus, dial 000 and wait for help to arrive.
  • If someone on your bus is hurt or ill, tell the driver where they are and what is wrong with them. Do not move the person who is hurt.

Special safety message for parents/carers about bus stop pick ups
  • Meeting your children at the bus stop is terrific but please wait for them on the same side of the road as the bus stop and do not park in the bus parking bay. The bus needs plenty of room to get in and out of these areas.
  • Where children travel on a service to a State Support School, parent or carer must meet the bus to assist with boarding and disembarking.
  • Look out for the lights flashing on the outside of the bus which means children are leaving or boarding the bus.
  • Parking opposite the bus stop can be dangerous and is one of the most frequent causes of accidents at bus stops. Children are often anxious to see you after school and may run across the road to meet you.
  • If you have to park on the other side of the road, exit your vehicle, cross the road and wait on the same side as the bus stop.
  • It may also be wise to establish a designated waiting place with your child that is close to the bus stop. As well as preventing them from running across the road to meet you, this also gives them somewhere to wait in the event that you are late to meet them.
  • Older children should also be reminded that their behaviour will influence the actions of the smaller children who see them as role models.
  • Please help us to keep your child safe by reminding them of the guidelines in this document.
  • Buses are contracted to follow an approved route and timetable. Please do not ask drivers to carry your child at other times or to keep them on the bus outside of the contracted service to fit in with work or personal arrangements. This is not an authorised nor appropriate use of the school bus service.

Using bus passes and tickets

It is important that you:

  • Show your student bus pass or ticket (if applicable) to the driver upon boarding.
  • Use the student bus pass only for its intended purpose. Do not lend your pass to other students or borrow a pass from them.

Students with disability

Parents/carers, schools and bus operators, should work together to ensure that the bus driver is aware of all actions they might take to ensure the safety of all students on the bus, and to ensure that students with disability travel safely with respect and dignity.

In relation to behaviour that constitute a violation of the Code (refer ‘Consequences on inappropriate behaviour’, below), bus drivers should consider whether the student’s disability (including behavioural disorders that have been communicated to the bus operator by the school, parent or carer) contributed to the behaviour. In such cases the application of penalties may not be appropriate and the bus operator should meet with the school and parents/carers to discuss how to best manage such behaviour.

For example, changes to seating arrangements or support from bus attendants may be appropriate to assist in supporting students to maintain calm behaviour during transport to and from school.

If ongoing behaviours of concern arise from students with disability, a risk assessment and/or individual transport/behaviour support plan can be negotiated with the bus operator, school, and parents/carers.