School season is almost in; it’s already the middle of May and people are now rushing to make sure that their children’s back-to-school experience will be a smooth sail. While people take the time to shop around for school supplies, bags, and other requirements, parents often take for granted one important thing: school bus service. After all, you are entrusting the safety and security of your kids to someone, and this is not something that should be taken lightly.
Increasing children-related road accidents
If there is one main reason why parents should take the process of choosing their children’s school bus seriously is because of the current events. According to Safe Kids Philippines, around 15,000 children die every month due to road accidents, and there are a lot of factors that play in this staggering number of casualties.
With the alarming number of child casualties due to road mishaps, now is the high time for you to make sure that your kids are in good hands whenever they’re on their way to school. Here are a few tips on how to pick the right school bus for your kids.
Just a few weeks ago, the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) said that all school bus service units aged fifteen years old won’t be allowed to function as school service anymore. Aside from considering to get the transportation service of providers that use fairly new vehicles, you should also consider if the vehicles are comfortable enough for your children. For instance, a bus-type school service may be more comfortable than a van-type one, although the latter has fewer people to transport which means less travel time.
In the old days, any vehicle that can accommodate a lot of students can pass off as a school bus. However, the surge of complaints among parents and teachers forced the hand of the LTFRB to strictly enforce school bus regulations. To make sure that your child’s school service is complying to the regulations, school service units must have the following exterior markings:
- Yellow body paint for high road visibility
- Alternating black and yellow chevron markings both at the front and rear end of the vehicle, which should be visible for up to 50 meters
- Huge sign saying “school service” on both sides as well as the school serviced by the said vehicle
- A dark yellow square at the back portion of the vehicle with two lines inscribed saying “school service” and “caution: children crossing”
The safety measures
Aside from having adequate markings to distinguish school service vehicles to other vehicles that traverse the roads in the country, school buses should also have adequate safety measures to keep the children out of harm’s way. The security measures required on school bus units are the following:
- Steel grill windows at all sides, one-inch mesh
- A portable fire extinguisher inside the vehicle
- Entrance and exit points should be on the rear or right side of the vehicle only
- Portable stop-and-go sign for the conductor
The driver and the conductor
When scouting for a potential school service provider for your child, you must also consider talking to the driver and the conductor of the vehicle. Aside from asking about the usual information like personal details, occupation history, and other things, you also might want to see if they are accommodating enough to respond to certain requests such as change in time of pickup at school in case activities are bound to happen and others. Also, it is important that you have their numbers on speed dial in case of emergency.
When looking for your child’s school bus, do not compromise the quality of the service you will get just to save some money. Remember, these are the people who keep your kid safe in between your home and the school. Look for the provider that puts your child’s safety above all else, and you can have peace of mind whenever a yellow vehicle stops in front of your house.