School bus companies, school boards and transportation consortia establish emergency contingency plans in the event of a crash, school closure, route change or unexpected medical situation.

School Bus Safety Rules

There are procedures performed by school bus drivers on a daily basis including the loading and unloading of children. This is one of the most important responsibilities that a driver has, as most incidents occur outside the bus and frequent stops are made on each route. Education and awareness about the correct way to enter and exit the bus, cross the street and to stay away from the “danger zone” is crucial to child safety. See the “Student Safety” section for more information.

Passenger Capacity

For maximum protection, seating capacity is adjusted according to the size of the passengers being transported. Compartmentalization is most effective when the student can sit fully on the bench. If the students are too big to assign three to a seat, it needs to be reported to the school board or transportation consortia. The number of passengers in a school bus should never exceed the bus manufacturer’s designed seating capacity.


School boards or transportation consortia determine the bus stop locations along each route. The routes are determined by set criteria including distances between stops and to major intersections, posted speed limits, traffic volume, types of roadways, etc. School bus drivers are responsible for making sure each student is picked up and dropped off at the assigned stop location. Children under a certain age must be met by a parent or guardian.

The amount of time a child rides the school bus is also a consideration.

All routing decisions are made by the school board or transportation consortia. Contact information for school boards can be found at the following link: