Safety underpins everything we do in student transportation. While school buses are the safest form of transportation on the roads today according to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, safety success must be an ongoing focus of student transportation systems.
The key to safety success starts with building a safety program that focuses on:
• Training Programs: Target your safety messages to your community’s needs.
• Safety Conversations: Frequently discuss safety so it becomes habit.
• Reinforcements: Positive reinforcement strengthens safe behaviors.
It’s easy to say what a prosperous safety program needs, but it’s harder to target the program to the exact needs of your transportation team. Sometimes robust safety programs can be difficult to organize if you’re also busy balancing budgets, planning school/district development programs and other tasks.
First Student is proud to be recognized as a transportation provider that holds a safety record twice as safe as the industry average, and as a Green Cross for Safety Honoree from the National Safety Council. In our on-going mission of continuous improvement, our Central Safety Support team collaborated with Aubrey Daniels International, a leader in performance management and behavior-based safety, to develop our Be Safe program. The Be Safe program features five key principles:
• Knowledge: We work to identify those key safety behaviors that help us reduce incidents.
• Recognition: We acknowledge colleagues acting safely and positively reinforce their actions.
• Openness: Our teams hold regular, positive coaching sessions and conduct open and honest safety conversations.
• Learning: All incidents and near-misses are viewed as learning opportunities to continuously improve workplace safety.
• Courage: We empower our people to embrace safety as a core value and to contribute to a culture where all employees take responsibility for the safety of colleagues, passengers, and others on the road. If our employees assess something to be unsafe, they stop and find a safer way to complete tasks.
First Student recognizes the impact we have on a student’s day and work hard to provide children with the safest start and finish to their school day. Contact us to learn more about our industry-leading safety program or how First Student can provide your district with safe, reliable transportation, while you focus on student education.
For additional safety tips around the school bus, visit our Parent Resources page on our website.