Safety on the School Bus

Isabel Hanewicz, Staff Writer

On any given school day, about 1,000 school buses are active throughout Hillsborough County, picking up and dropping off approximately 75,000 students each day to 20,000 different stops –there are over 890 school bus drivers that drive over 19 million miles every year in Hillsborough County alone, including 11 bus drivers and routes coming to and from Robinson each day.

Keeping this in mind, it is important for all students riding the bus to remember to follow all rules to ensure a safe and smooth ride.

Things like food, drinks, music, and cellphones are typically not allowed by bus drivers, even though it is before/after school hours.

“Drivers are just like teachers,” said Mr. Hoover, Assistant Principal for Student Affairs. “Some may let you drink water, some may not. It’s up to them to decide, and students must obey the rules. A driver can write a referral just like a teacher can.”

One of the most common discipline issues on the bus is getting on/off at the wrong stop. “You’re not allowed to get on or off at a stop besides the one assigned to you based on your address, even if you are going to a friend’s house and have a note from your parent,” Hoover said. “It used to be allowed, but for safety reasons and security the schools have stopped allowing it. We need to know where a student is from when he gets onto the bus until he gets off at the stop to head home. If they get off at a friend’s stop, we won’t know where they are, which is a safety concern.”

Riding the bus is a privilege, free transportation to school that costs the county over $27 million each year. And for students who don’t understand that? “There are a lot of students who live 1.8 or 1.9 miles away from the school, and have to walk to and from school each day, because they live too close to be allowed to ride the bus,” Hoover said. “They would love to have the privilege of riding the bus to school.”