Cook County Transportation Making A Difference
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Lee Browning and Delane Purvis

Phone 229- 549-6556 and Fax  229-896-6151



* School buses are the safest form of highway transportation.

* The most dangerous part of the school bus ride is getting on and off the bus.





* Pedestrian fatalities (while loading and unloading school buses)

account for approximately three times as many school bus-related fatalities,

when compared to school bus occupant fatalities.

* The loading and unloading area is called the Danger Zone.


* The Danger Zone is the area on all sides of the bus where children

are in the most danger of not being seen by the driver

(ten feet in front of the bus where the driver may be too high to see a child,

ten feet on either side of the bus where a child may be in the driver's blind spot,

and the area ten feet behind the bus).


Transportation Policies and Procedures

The Cook County  School District picks up and delivers over 3200 students

on a daily basis. 

It is essential students conduct themselves properly and not interfere

with their safe and efficient transport.

To insure that proper conduct is observed while riding the school buses,

certain discipline policies and procedures have been adopted and

 approved by the School Board. 


This bus discipline procedure provides the student with a chance

to correct his/ her own behavior and a chance for the parent/guardian

to aid in the correction of the problem. 

If these two means fail, the school principal or designee

may be obliged to remove the student from the bus in

order to help protect the other passengers.

The bus drivers have been trained in an assertive approach

to discipline and are responsible for maintaining day-to-day

discipline on their buses. 

They have been authorized to make student seat assignments

on the bus to assist in discipline, to curb vandalism and promote

bus safety. 

However, the final responsibility of administering the district

discipline policy for bus-related problems rests with the school

principal and/or designee where the student attends.

Reports of misconduct are investigated and discipline

is administered based on the severity and/or frequency

of the incident.





As parents, you are an important part of a total safety program

 for children who travel by school bus.

Children need to learn to be safe pedestrians as they walk to

 and from the bus as well as to be safe riders

when they are on the bus.

                            Here's how you can help:


                      Parents Tips:

Getting Ready for School

Have your children put everything they carry

in a backpack or school bag

so that they won't drop things along the way.

Have them wear bright, contrasting colors

so drivers will more easily see them.

Make sure they leave home on time so

they can walk to the bus stop and

arrive before the bus is due.

Running can be dangerous.


Walking to the Bus Stop



Go to the bus stop with a young child and have older

children walk in groups.

There is safety in numbers;

groups are easier for drivers to see.

Don't let pre-school children or pets

go with your child to the bus stop.

They can be in danger, near traffic.

Practice good pedestrian behavior.

Walk on the Sidewalk

If there is a sidewalk, stay out of the street.

Walk on the shoulder or grass.

If you must walk in the street, walk single file,

face traffic and stay as close to the edge

of the road as possible.

Stop and look left, right, and then left again

if you must cross the street.

Do the same thing at driveways and alleyways.

Exaggerate your head turns and narrate your actions,

 so your child knows you are looking left,

right, and left.

At the Bus Stop

Don't let your child play running games or push

 and shove at the bus stop.

It is too dangerous near traffic.


Make sure your child stands at least 10 feet (5 giant steps)

from the road while waiting for the bus.

The child will then be out of the way of traffic.

Have younger children practice taking 5 giant steps

 to become familiar with 10 feet.


Getting On and Off the Bus 

Make children stay at least 10 ft. away

from the bus until they begin to enter.

This will allow children to see the driver and vice versa.

If children must cross the street to the bus they should

 cross the street 10 feet (5 giant steps)

in front of the bus where they can see the driver

and the driver can see them.

Warn the children that, if they drop something,

they should never pick it up.

Instead, they should tell the driver

 and follow the driver's instructions.

If they bend over to pick up a dropped object,

 they might not be seen by the driver

and could be hurt if the driver pulls away from the stop.

Remind children to look to the right before they step off the bus.

Drivers in a hurry sometimes try to sneak by busses on the right.

Teach your children to secure loose drawstrings and other objects

that may get caught in the handrail or door of the bus as they are exiting.

Give your child a note or follow your school's procedures

if you would like for the child to get off at a stop other

than the one they are assigned.

The driver isn't allowed to let a child off at another

stop without written permission.

If you meet your child at the bus stop after school,

wait on the side where the child will be dropped off,

not across the street.

Children can be so excited at seeing you after school that they

dash across the street and forget the safety rules.

Riding the Bus

Remind your children to be good bus riders.

They should:

Talk quietly.

Be courteous to the driver and follow the driver's directions.

Keep the aisles clear.

Stay seated, facing the front for the entire bus ride.


Only lap-sized items are permitted on the bus (such as book bags)

**Musical instruments or other equipment can be a hazard

in an unexpected situation**

Be sure not to eat or drink on the bus (this may lead to a choking hazard)

We want your children to be safe when they travel to and from school!

As you help us with the above rules, we hope you will see that school bus safety

begins at home.

Transportation Guidelines


                                 (Items carried onto buses)

At no time are carry on items to extend into the aisle,

be packed higher than a seat back,

 be packed in a fashion that will allow the item

to become a projectile or cause damage

to the bus in any way.

                                Forbidden Items

•1.       Any firearms, flammable liquids,

          or any other weapons or explosives

•2.       Any pets, animals or any other living creature

•3.       Any pointed items unless carried in a closed container

•4.       Any school project that cannot be held in a student's lap

•5.       Any large musical instruments

             (tuba, baritone and tenor saxophones,  French horn, cello, guitar, drums)

•6. Electronic Devices of any kind that may interfere with

communication of Bus while on route to & from School

and School acitvities

•7.       Extra-large athletic bags including catcher's equipment bags,

 and goalie bags

•8.      Glass containers, bottles, balloons, or fragile items

9.        Visible cell phones

•10.   Any other items not mentioned above that, after inspection,

are deemed inappropriate for safety reasons

11. Any Tobacco Products & Other related items , lighters etc.

                                Appropriate Items

(if not stored on student's lap, student must be seated by window

not blocking an exit and item must be against the window in an upright position)

•1.       Musical instruments (exceptions noted above)

•2.       Athletic equipment bags (exceptions noted above)

•3.       Athletic equipment including  (all athletic equipment should be transported in an equipment bag - for example, baseball bats, field hockey sticks, etc.)

•4.       Student projects (When held on student's lap)

                                Important Note to Guidelines: 

The ability of the student to maneuver to exit the bus in various situations

may be determined by ridership, age of the child, and items the student carries. 

For example, a third grade student with a large backpack may create

an unsafe situation if one of the above items were carried on the bus

in addition to the backpack. 

Therefore, for elementary students, the above guidelines

are based on the individual situation and subject to change.



Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Why are there no seat belts on school busses?

A: On school buses, occupant protection is provided by

 "compartmentalization," not safety belts.

Compartmentalization is the name for the protective envelope

created by strong, closely-spaced seats that have energy-absorbing

high seat backs that protect occupants in the event of a crash.

Q: My child's bus driver won't let him eat on the bus. Why?

Students are not permitted to have food, candy or drinks on the bus. 

This rule is in affect for the safety and welfare of the children. 

The food, candy, and drinks are choking hazards. 

We understand some children are diabetic or have other health issues

requiring he / she to have food and / or a drink available. 

Q: Can my child be dropped off at his day care?

A. Transportation to or from your ‘everyday' Day Care provider

or Baby Sitter is permitted.

The parent or guardian must complete a Day Care Transportation

sheet and provide a copy for the school and for the bus driver. 

Forms are available in all school offices.