School Climate & Safety Report Roundup

Bus Safety

“School Bus Safety: Crash Data Trends and Federal and State Requirements”
By Sarah D. Sparks — January 24, 2017 1 min read
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In spite of recent high-profile bus crashes in Texas and Tennessee, a new Government Accountability Office report suggests school buses are still a safe way to get students to school.

From 2000 to 2015, there’s been an average of 115 fatal crashes involving a school bus each year in the United States, the GAO found. That’s only a third of 1 percent of the nearly 35,000 fatal crashes during that time.

The GAO report found that all states require school buses to be inspected every year, and 40 states require both pre-service- and refresher-training courses for bus drivers. The details of that training varied, though. Tennessee, where six children were killed when a Chattanooga bus flipped in November, requires bus drivers to receive four hours of training each year, but does not mandate initial training. By contrast, Pennsylvania requires 20 hours of initial training for school bus drivers and 10 hours of refresher training at least every four years.

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A version of this article appeared in the January 25, 2017 edition of Education Week as Bus Safety


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