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Transportation Safety Plan

Transportation Safety Plan

State of California

EDUCATION CODE Section 39831.3

39831.3. (a) The county superintendent of schools, the superintendent of a school district, a charter school, or the owner or operator of a private school that provides transportation to or from a school or school activity shall prepare a transportation safety plan containing procedures for school personnel to follow to ensure the safe transport of pupils. The plan shall be revised as required. The plan shall address all of the following:


(1) Determining if pupils require escort pursuant to paragraph (1) of subdivision (d) of Section 22112 of the Vehicle Code.


(2) (A) Procedures for all pupils in prekindergarten, kindergarten, and grades 1 to 8, inclusive, to follow as they board and exit the appropriate school bus at each pupil’s school bus stop.

(B) Nothing in this paragraph requires a county superintendent of schools, the superintendent of a school district, a charter school, or the owner or operator of a private school that provides transportation to or from a school or school activity, to use the services of an onboard school bus monitor, in addition to the driver, to carry out the purposes of this paragraph.


(3) Boarding and exiting a school bus at a school or other trip destination.


(4) Procedures to ensure that a pupil is not left unattended on a school bus, school pupil activity bus, or youth bus.


(5) Procedures and standards for designating an adult chaperone, other than the driver, to accompany pupils on a school pupil activity bus.


(b) A current copy of a plan prepared pursuant to subdivision (a) shall be retained by each school subject to the plan and made available upon request to an officer of the Department of the California Highway Patrol.

(Amended by Stats. 2016, Ch. 721, Sec. 2. (SB 1072) Effective January 1, 2017.)


The Dinuba Unified School District Transportation Safety Plan includes the following:


A.      Walking distances to school and school bus stops.

B.      Procedures for students to follow while walking to and from bus stops.

C.      Rules of conduct at school bus loading zones.

D.      Safety rules and procedures for school bus stops.

E.       Escorted crossing procedures and the school bus danger zone.

F.       Procedures to ensure that no pupil is left unattended on a school bus or school pupil         activity bus.

G.      Rules of conduct aboard the school bus and conduct code offenses.

H.      School bus emergency procedures.

I.         Foggy day procedures.

J.        Inclement weather procedures.

K.       Rules of the road for parents.




Transportation Phone: 559-595-7282

Foggy Day Information:



Administration Regulation 3541


A.      Walking Distances to Schools and Bus Stops


The Superintendent or designee shall design transportation routes and stops to promote the safety of students and maximum efficiency in the use of buses and limit the need for red light

crossovers.  Students who reside beyond the minimum transportation distances listed below shall be eligible for transportation service to the school of their attendance area; students who are eligible for transportation service may be required to walk the distances listed below to reach a designated bus stop:


                1. For elementary school students:

                                Grades K:  three-fourths mile

                                Grades 1 – 5:  one and one-half miles

                                Grade 6:  two miles


                2. For junior high school students:

                                Grades 7 – 8:  two and one-half miles


                3. For high school students:

                                Grades 9 – 12:  two and one-half miles


  4. The walking distances are measured in nautical/air miles from the address of residence to the school of the attendance area or the designated bus stop.


The Superintendent or designee may authorize transportation within the walking distance when safety problems or hazards exist.  The Superintendent or designee shall communicate in writing to parents/guardians regarding bus routes, schedules and stops.


B.  Procedures to Follow While Walking to and from Bus Stops


1.       Parents and students should choose the safest route to the bus stop.

2.       Parents should walk with their students to the bus stop prior to the first day riding the bus.

3.       Leave home early enough to arrive at the school bus stop five minutes before the scheduled pick up time.

4.       Walk directly to the bus stop.  Do not talk to or accept rides from strangers. 

5.       Cross the roadway only at crosswalks, walking to the right in the crosswalk. 

6.       Before crossing the roadway, look in all directions.

7.       Watch for cars.  Be sure the roadway is clear before crossing.

8.       Cross only on the proper signal at intersections controlled by signal lights.            

9.       Avoid crossing the roadway between parked cars.

10.   Where there are no sidewalks and it is necessary to walk in the roadway, walk on the      side of the street, facing oncoming traffic.

11.   Wear or carry retro-reflective material at night to be visible to others.

12.   Do not chase or follow anything into the street.

13.   Walk in an orderly manner, respecting the property of others.

14.   Avoid horseplay; it can result in injuries.


C.  Rules of Conduct at School Bus Loading Zones


1.       Stay clear of the roadway.  Stand on the sidewalk or driveway if possible.

2.       While waiting at the bus stop, respect the property of others.  This includes the property of other students and the area around the bus stop.

3.       Wait for the bus in an orderly manner by forming a single file line at least 12 feet from the edge of the roadway.

4.       Stay away from the 12 foot area around the bus called the “Danger Zone” until the bus has come to a complete stop.  Do not approach the bus until the door has opened.

5.       Enter the bus in an orderly manner. Quickly find a seat.  In buses with seat belts, fasten and wear the seat belt properly at all times.  Remain seated while the bus is in motion.


D.  Safety Rules and Procedures for School Bus Stops


       1.            The driver shall stop to load or unload pupils only at a school bus stops designated for that purpose by the school district superintendent or authorized by the superintendent for school activity trips.


       2.            Students are assigned a designated bus stop by the Transportation Department and are to board and exit the bus at their designated bus stop only.  Drivers shall make every effort to ensure that students comply and will report non-compliance to the Department.  Students requesting to exit the school bus at a stop other than their designated stop must obtain written permission from their parent, guardian or school official.                 Written permission shall be given to the driver.


       3.            Upon stopping the school bus on a highway or private road for the purpose of loading or unloading pupils, at a location where traffic is not controlled by a traffic officer, or official traffic control signal, the driver shall determine if there are students loading or unloading who must cross the highway or private road. 


       4.            The school bus driver shall escort all pupils in pre-kindergarten, kindergarten, and any of grades 1 to 8, inclusive, needing to cross the highway or private road upon which the school bus is stopped.  The driver shall use an approved hand-held "STOP" sign while escorting all pupils. All pupils are required to walk in front of the bus as they cross the road.  School bus stops, where students need to cross the road, shall not be made on a divided or multiple lane highway as defined in the Vehicle Code.


For the purposes of Section 39843 of the Education Code, a school bus driver escorting pupils pursuant to paragraph (1) of subdivision (d) of Section 22112 of the Vehicle Code shall not be considered to be leaving the immediate vicinity of the vehicle.


E.  Escorted Crossing Procedures


The Transportation Department encourages parents and guardians to discuss with their children the dangers of                 crossing the street during an escort.  Although your driver is a professional, trained in loading and unloading safety procedures, it is important for your child to use extreme caution when crossing the road.  Please instruct your child to use the following safety procedures when exiting the bus and crossing the road at the bus stop:


       1.            Students shall remain seated until the bus comes to a complete stop.  The driver will indicate when they should come forward to prepare to exit the bus.


       2.            The students will follow the driver as he/she exits the bus.  Once outside, the students shall stand beside the bus, off the roadway when possible.  Students are to pay close attention and       wait for the driver to tell them when it is safe to cross.  Students should never assume traffic will stop nor should they cross without the protection of the school bus driver.


       3.            When the driver tells the students that it is safe to cross, they are to walk in FRONT of the bus, between the bus and the bus driver. Students should walk quickly, straight across to the other side of the street.  Once students have safely crossed the roadway, the driver will return to the bus. It is very important that students do not re-enter the roadway, as traffic will be ready to proceed and it would be extremely UNSAFE.


       4.            When students require an escort to board the bus, they should wait for the bus a safe distance from the roadway.  When the bus arrives, the driver will exit the bus and escort the students across the road.  Students are to pay close attention to the driver and wait for the driver to tell them that it is safe to cross.  They should walk in FRONT of the bus, between the bus and the bus driver.  Students should walk quickly, straight across to the other side of the street and immediately board the bus.


       5.            When parents/guardians feel it is necessary to walk across the road to drop-off or pick-up their student from the bus stop, bus drivers remain lawfully responsible to afford the child the protection of the escorted crossing and will escort both the child and the parent/guardian.  Parents/guardians that refuse to comply with these procedures risk the possibility of the loss of bus riding privileges for their child.                         

The School Bus Danger Zone

There is an area 12 feet around the school bus called the "Danger Zone." Parents and guardians should discuss with their students the hazards of being in this area. It is very dangerous for students to be along the side of the bus and near the wheels and tires.  Please see the diagram above. Students should stay clear of the danger zone and be at least 12 feet from the school bus before boarding and after exiting the school bus. If a student drops something in the danger zone, they should notify the bus driver who will retrieve the item. Under no circumstances should a student ever reach or crawl under the school bus.

F.  Procedures to Ensure a Pupil is Not Left Unattended on a School Bus or School Pupil    Activity Bus (39831.3 EC)

The Dinuba Unified School District Transportation Department is committed to the safe transportation of all students who ride district school buses.  Beginning with the 2018 – 2019 school year all DUSD buses will be equipped with a Child Safety Check System authorized by the California Highway Patrol that will require the driver to contact the device before exiting the vehicle, thereby prompting the driver to inspect the entirety of the interior of the school bus before exiting.   

All DUSD drivers shall ensure no children remain on the school bus by inspecting the entirety of the interior of the school bus at the last stop on each run.  Upon returning to the Transportation Facility, drivers shall perform a second inspection of the interior of the school bus to ensure no children remain on the school bus before exiting the school bus.

If a child is on the school bus at the end of a run or upon return to the Transportation Facility, the driver shall immediately notify dispatch and the Transportation Director.  The school will receive immediate notification and arrangements will be made for the transportation of the child either to school or to home.

All school pupil activity bus (Charter Party Carrier) trips shall have a designated adult chaperone, other than the driver, to accompany pupils on a School Pupil Activity Bus (SPAB).  DUSD requires that all designated adult chaperones accompanying pupils on a SPAB trip be identified on the trip request. Prior to the trip, the designated adult chaperone shall sign and return to transportation an acknowledgement that they have received written instructions to follow to ensure a pupil is not left unattended on a SPAB.  Upon completion of a SPAB trip, the driver and chaperone will ensure no pupils remain unattended on the bus and provide a document stating such to DUSD Transportation Department.

G.  Rules of Conduct aboard the School Bus BP 5131.1, 5 CCR 14103

In order to help ensure the safety and well-being of students, bus drivers and others, the Board of Education expects students to exhibit appropriate and orderly conduct at all times when using school transportation, including while preparing to ride, riding or leaving the bus.

The Superintendent or designee shall establish regulations related to student conduct on buses, bus driver authority, and the suspension of riding privileges.  He/she shall make these rules available to parents/guardians, students, and other interested parties.  Students found to be in violation of the district’s bus conduct rules shall be subject to discipline in accordance with Board policy and administrative regulation.  The Superintendent or designee may deny a student the privilege of using school transportation upon the continued disorderly conduct of the student or his/her persistent refusal to submit to the authority of the driver.

Pupils transported in a school bus shall be under the authority of and responsible directly to the driver of the bus, and the driver shall be held responsible for the orderly conduct of the pupils while they are on the bus or being escorted across a street, highway or road. Continued disorderly conduct or persistent refusal to submit to authority of the bus driver shall be sufficient reason for a pupil to be denied transportation.  A bus driver shall not require the pupil to leave the bus in route between home and school or other destinations.

Bus Surveillance Systems

The Board believes that the use of surveillance systems on school buses will help to deter misconduct and improve discipline, ensure the safety of students and bus drivers, and prevent vandalism. Therefore, surveillance systems with audio capabilities may be installed and used on school buses to monitor student behavior while traveling to and from school and school activities.

The Superintendent or designee shall notify students, parents/guardians, and staff that surveillance may occur on any school bus and that the contents of a recording may be a student record and, as such, may be used in student disciplinary proceedings or referred to local law enforcement, as appropriate. In addition, a prominent notice shall be placed in each bus stating that the bus is equipped with a surveillance monitoring system.


The Superintendent or designee shall monitor the use and maintenance of the district's bus surveillance system. Students are prohibited from tampering with the bus surveillance system.  Any student found tampering with the system shall be subject to discipline and shall be responsible for the costs of any necessary repairs or replacement.

Camera supports may be installed in all buses.  Cameras may be rotated among the buses and activated at the discretion of the Superintendent or designee.


The contents of any on board recording is a student record.  Recordings of students are protected by district policy and administrative regulation.

Bus Rider Rules


The following rules apply at all times when students are riding a school bus, including when on school activity trips:

       1. Riders shall follow the instructions and directions of the bus driver at all times.

       2. Riders should arrive at their designated bus stop on time and stand in a safe place at the stop to wait quietly for the bus.

       3. Riders shall enter the bus in an orderly manner and go directly to their seats.

       4. Riders shall sit down and fasten any passenger restraint systems. Riders shall remain seated while the bus is in motion.

       5. Riders shall not block the aisle or emergency exit with their body or personal belongings. Riders may bring large or bulky items, such as class projects or musical instruments, on the bus only if the item does not displace any other rider or obstruct the driver's vision.

       6. Riders should be courteous to the driver and to fellow passengers. Vulgarity, rude, or abusive behavior is prohibited.

       7. Any noise or behavior that could distract the driver, such as loud talking, scuffling or fighting, throwing objects, or standing or changing seats, is prohibited and may lead to suspension of riding privileges.

       8. Riders shall not use tobacco products, eat, or drink while riding the bus.

       9. Riders may bring electronic devices onto the bus only if such devices are permitted at school. If the use of cellular telephones or similar devices disrupts the safe operation of the school bus, the bus driver may direct the student to no longer use the device on the bus.

     10. Riders shall not put any part of the body out of the window nor throw any item from the bus.

     11. Riders shall help keep the bus and the area around the bus stop clean. Riders shall not damage or deface the bus or tamper with bus equipment.

     12. Service animals are permitted on school transportation services; all other animals are prohibited.

     13. Upon reaching their destination, riders shall remain seated until the bus comes to a complete stop and upon the signal from the driver, unfasten any restraint system, enter the aisle, and go directly to the exit.

     14. Riders should be alert for traffic when leaving the bus and shall follow the district's transportation safety plan when crossing the road and exiting the bus.

The driver or any passenger shall report any violation of the district's bus rules to the principal or designee. The principal or designee shall notify the student's parent/guardian of the misbehavior, determine the severity of the misconduct, and take action accordingly. In instances of a severe violation or repeated offenses, the rider may be denied transportation for a period of time determined appropriate by the principal or designee.

Bus drivers shall not deny transportation services except as directed by the principal or designee.


Riding on a School Bus is a “PRIVILEGE” not a Right. All students who ride a school bus are subject to bus riding regulations. Safe transportation in a school bus requires cooperation and consideration of all people. Listed below are some of the unacceptable behaviors that could jeopardize student bus riding privileges:


Refusing to obey driver

Refusal to wear seat belt when the bus is equipped

Failure to remain seated

Throwing objects in, out, or at the bus

Eating, drinking, chewing gum on bus

Lighting matches/lighters

Bothering others, spitting, profanity

Willfully destroying bus property

Smoking on bus

Hanging/yelling out of window

Bringing animals/glass on bus


Student Conduct Code/Behavior on the Bus

1st Offense:    Warning to student and/or alternative consequences, parent conference.

2nd Offense:   Loss of bus privileges for a minimum of one week, parent conference.

3rd Offense:    Loss of bus privileges for a minimum of two weeks subject to the discretion of the Principal, Transportation Director and the nature of the offense.  Such loss of privileges shall not normally extend beyond the end of the current trimester for elementary (K-6) schools or beyond the end of the semester for secondary schools.


Note: Depending on the seriousness of the act, the student may lose bus privileges for the remainder of the school year on the first or succeeding offense.  Decisions regarding bus discipline will be a collaborative effort between the bus driver, the transportation director and school administration.  When the situation is determined to be an emergency, immediate suspension will occur.  Parents/guardians will be required to pick up the student at the school.


H.  Bus Emergency Procedures


Upon registration, the appropriate school site will provide to the parents or guardians of all pupils in pre-kindergarten through grade 6 who have not previously been transported in a school bus or school pupil activity bus, written information on school bus safety.  In accordance with Education Code section 39831.5, all students through the 8th grade will receive safety instructions once each year during a scheduled bus evacuation drill.

Instruction on the use of passenger restraint systems, when a passenger restraint system is installed, shall include, but not be limited to all of the following:


A.  Proper fastening and release of the passenger restraint system;

B.  Acceptable placement of passenger restraint systems on pupils;

C.  Times at which the passenger restraint systems should be fastened and released;

D.  Acceptable placement of the passenger restraint systems when not in use.


Prior to departure on a school activity trip, all students riding on a school bus or school pupil activity bus shall receive safety instruction which includes, but is not limited to, location of emergency exits, and location and use of emergency equipment. Instruction also may include responsibilities of passengers seated next to an emergency exit.


I.  Kindergarten Transportation


All Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten bus riders are required to have a designated parent or guardian at the bus stop to receive the child.  Otherwise, the bus driver will return the student to school.  Bus drivers will notify the transportation office when returning the child to school; transportation will contact the school site.  When riders are consistently returned to the school site due to not being met at the stop, parents may be notified that transportation for their child may be cancelled.




J.  Foggy Day Procedures


In accordance with California Vehicle Code Section 34501.6, Dinuba Unified School District school buses shall not operate when atmospheric conditions reduce visibility to 200 feet or less.  The District however, will limit operations at the more conservative distance of 600 feet or less.  When a foggy day schedule is called, the decision will be made by 6:00 a.m.  To find out if the District is on a foggy day schedule, please check the DUSD website or tune to TV Channels 18, 24, 26, 30 and 47 or Radio Stations KBOS  B-95 or KMJ AM 580.  The free DUSD Blackboard Parentlink App is available for download through a link at the bottom of the website homepage.


When a foggy day delay is called, all schools in the District will start school 1 (one) hour later than normal start times.  Bus pick up times will also be 1 (one) hour later than normal pick up times.  Zero period classes are cancelled on foggy day schedules.  Please check the website for schedules.  There may be times fog will still exist when buses begin running after the 1 (one) hour delay.  Bus drivers are authorized to use their discretion to find a safe place to pull over until they determine it is safe to continue on route.  At no time will bus drivers travel at a speed that is unsafe for conditions.  This may cause a bus to run later than usual.


K.  Inclement Weather Procedures for Student Activity Trips/Staff Conference Trips


School buses, charter buses and district vehicles should not operate when atmospheric conditions (fog, wind, rain, etc.) reduce visibility to 600 feet or less.  When the transportation department determines that visibility may be reduced to less than 600 feet, the trip may be delayed or cancelled.  While on the student activity trip or staff conference trip, the driver is to continually monitor the weather conditions.  When visibility becomes reduced, the bus or staff driver shall communicate with the supervisor/coach/teacher on the status of weather conditions.  If the bus or staff driver determines, after conferring with their supervisor, an earlier return is required, the supervisor/coach/teacher will be notified of the revised time. 

If at any time while in route, visibility is reduced to 600 feet or less, the bus or staff driver shall use their discretion to find a safe place to pull over.  Drivers shall not stop on the shoulder of a highway under these conditions, except for an emergency.


L.  Rules of the Road for Parents


A reminder for all parents and guardians - the speed limit, when approaching and passing by a school building or school grounds, while children are going to or leaving the school either during school hours or during the noon recess is 25 miles per hour.

The Amber Warning Light and Flashing Red Light Signal Systems are used by school buses to protect children while entering or exiting the school bus. When the Amber Warning Lights are flashing it means caution, get ready to stop.  When the Red Warning Lights are flashing it means stop, students will be loading or unloading. It is against the law for the driver of any motor vehicle to pass a school bus with the Red Warning Lights flashing on an undivided highway.  The Transportation Department urges everyone to use caution when driving in school zones and bus pick-up and drop-off locations.


This Safety Plan is effective January 1, 1998.  It may be subject to revisions based on legislative changes and/or Board Policy amendments and/or additions.  A copy of the current Transportation Safety Plan is available for viewing at



Revised June 2018