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Section 10: School Buses

This Section Covers:

  • Danger Zones and Use of Mirrors
  • Loading and Unloading
  • Emergency Exit and Evacuation
  • Railroad-highway Grade Crossings
  • Student Management
  • Antilock Braking Systems
  • Special Safety Considerations

Because state and local laws and regulations regulate so much of school transportation and school bus operations, many of the procedures in this section may differ from state to state. You should be thoroughly familiar with the laws and regulations in your state and local school district.

10.1 – Danger Zones and Use of Mirrors

10.1.1 – Danger Zones

The danger zone is the area on all sides of the bus where children are in the most danger of being hit, either by another vehicle or their own bus. The danger zones may extend as much as 30 feet from the front bumper with the first 10 feet being the most dangerous, 10 feet from the left and right sides of the bus, and 10 feet behind the rear bumper of the school bus. In addition, the area to the left of the bus is always considered dangerous because of passing cars.

10.1.2 – Correct Mirror Adjustment

Proper adjustment and use of all mirrors are vital to the safe operation of the school bus, in order to observe the danger zone around the bus and look for students, traffic, and other objects in this area. You should always check each mirror before operating the school bus to obtain maximum viewing area. If necessary, have the mirrors adjusted.

10.1.3 – Outside Left and Right Side Flat Mirrors

These mirrors are mounted at the left and right front corners of the bus at the side or front of the windshield. They are used to monitor traffic, check clearances and students on the sides and to the rear of the bus. There is a blind spot immediately below and in front of each mirror and directly behind the rear bumper. The blind spot behind the bus extends 50 to 150 feet and could extend up to 400 feet depending on the length and width of the bus.

Ensure that the mirrors are properly adjusted so you can see:

  • 200 feet or 4 bus lengths behind the bus.
  • Along the sides of the bus.
  • The rear tires touching the ground.

10.1.4 – Outside Left and Right Side Convex Mirrors

The convex mirrors are located below the outside flat mirrors. They are used to monitor the left and right sides at a wide angle. They provide a view of traffic, clearances, and students at the side of the bus. These mirrors present a view of people and objects that does not accurately reflect their size and distance from the bus.

You should position these mirrors to see:

  • The entire side of the bus up to the mirror mounts.
  • The front of the rear tires touching the ground.
  • At least one traffic lane on either side of the bus.

10.1.5 – Outside Left and Right Side Crossover Mirrors

These mirrors are mounted on both left and right front corners of the bus. They are used to see the front bumper “danger zone” area directly in front of the bus that is not visible by direct vision, and to view the “danger zone” area to the left side and right side of the bus, including the service door and front wheel area. The mirror presents a view of people and objects that does not accurately reflect their size and distance from the bus. The driver must ensure that these mirrors are properly adjusted.

Ensure that the mirrors are properly adjusted so you can see:

  • The entire area in front of the bus from the front bumper at ground level to a point where direct vision is possible. Direct vision and mirror view vision should overlap.
  • The right and left front tires touching the ground.
  • The area from the front of the bus to the service door.

The driver should look at these mirrors, along with the convex and flat mirrors, in a logical sequence to ensure that a child or object is not in any of the danger zones.

Multiple-Choice Questions:

Question #459 (1 of 6)

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Which of the following DOES NOT describe the left and right side crossover mirrors on a bus?

  • These mirrors are mounted on both left and right front corners of the bus
  • The mirror presents a view of people and objects that does not accurately reflect their size and distance from the bus
  • They are used to see the front bumper “danger zone” area directly in front of the bus that is not visible by direct vision, and to view the “danger zone” area to the left side and right side of the bus, including the service door and front wheel area.
  • They are used to view the “danger zone” area behind the bus, including the rear door

10.1.5 – Outside Left and Right Side Crossover Mirrors

These mirrors are mounted on both left and right front corners of the bus. They are used to see the front bumper “danger zone” area directly in front of the bus that is not visible by direct vision, and to view the “danger zone” area to the left side and right side of the bus, including the service door and front wheel area. The mirror presents a view of people and objects that does not accurately reflect their size and distance from the bus. The driver must ensure that these mirrors are properly adjusted.

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Question #460 (2 of 6)

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Which mirrors on a bus are mounted on the left and right front corners of the bus and are used to see the front bumper “danger zone” area directly in front of the bus that is not visible by direct vision?

  • Outside Left and Right Side Flat Mirrors
  • All are used for this purpose
  • Outside Left and Right Side Convex Mirrors
  • Outside Left and Right Side Crossover Mirrors

10.1.5 – Outside Left and Right Side Crossover Mirrors

These mirrors are mounted on both left and right front corners of the bus. They are used to see the front bumper “danger zone” area directly in front of the bus that is not visible by direct vision, and to view the “danger zone” area to the left side and right side of the bus, including the service door and front wheel area. The mirror presents a view of people and objects that does not accurately reflect their size and distance from the bus. The driver must ensure that these mirrors are properly adjusted.

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Question #456 (3 of 6)

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The blind spot behind the bus extends how far depending on the length and width of the bus?

  • 200 to 400 feet and could extend up to 600 feet
  • 50 to 150 feet and could extend up to 400 feet
  • 300 to 500 feet and could extend up to 1000 feet
  • 150 to 350 feet and could extend up to 500 feet
The blind spot behind the bus extends 50 to 150 feet and could extend up to 400 feet depending on the length and width of the bus
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Question #454 (4 of 6)

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Describe the danger zones of a bus:

  • All these are correct
  • The area to the left of the bus is always considered dangerous because of passing cars
  • It extends 10 feet from the left and right sides of the bus, and 10 feet behind the rear bumper of the school bus
  • It may extend as much as 30 feet from the front bumper with the first 10 feet being the most dangerous
The danger zone is the area on all sides of the bus where children are in the most danger of being hit, either by another vehicle or their own bus. The danger zones may extend as much as 30 feet from the front bumper with the first 10 feet being the most dangerous, 10 feet from the left and right sides of the bus, and 10 feet behind the rear bumper of the school bus. In addition, the area to the left of the bus is always considered dangerous because of passing cars.
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Question #455 (5 of 6)

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When you have adjusted the flat side mirrors on the bus properly, you will see all the following EXCEPT:

  • Along the sides of the bus
  • The area directly beneath the mirror
  • The rear tires touching the ground
  • 200 feet or 4 bus lengths behind the bus

Ensure that the mirrors are properly adjusted so you can see:

  • 200 feet or 4 bus lengths behind the bus.
  • Along the sides of the bus.
  • The rear tires touching the ground.

There is a blind spot immediately below and in front of each mirror and directly behind the rear bumper.

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Question #457 (6 of 6)

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Which of the following DOES NOT describe the convex mirror on a bus?

  • They provide a view of traffic, clearances, and students at the side of the bus
  • They present a view of people and objects that accurately reflect their size and distance from the bus.
  • They are used to monitor the left and right sides at a wide angle
  • They are normally located below the outside flat mirrors
The convex mirrors are located below the outside flat mirrors. They are used to monitor the left and right sides at a wide angle. They provide a view of traffic, clearances, and students at the side of the bus. These mirrors present a view of people and objects that do not accurately reflect their size and distance from the bus.
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