School Bus Driver Safety & Security

Find out about North Carolina’s stop arm enforcement laws.

Find Stop Arm Posters and Banners to print.

How to signal to students entering or exiting the bus

Since January 1, 2016 North Carolina school districts have been using a standard crossing signal to help protect students when they need to cross the street to board the bus or after exiting the bus. The school bus driver will first hold palm out indicating that students should WAIT before stepping into the roadway. After the driver has checked for safety, he or she will then give students a “thumbs up” indicating that the students should then check for traffic and then cross the street. The driver will indicate the direction to walk by pointing with his or her index finger.  Below are links to diagrams showing bus drivers, students, and parents exactly what to do during morning pick-up and afternoon drop-off:

Click here to see the school bus driver’s process: Morning and Afternoon

Click here to see the student’s crossing process: Morning and Afternoon

Click here to see the student’s crossing process in Spanish:  Morning and Afternoon

To order the student crossing process instructions sheets, contact DPI Publication Sales.

Learn more about seat belts and other child restraint systems

School Bus Operations – Bullying

National Bullying Curriculum from the US Department of Education

School Bus Operations – Railroad Crossing Safety

NASDPTS offers more information, including a school bus driver training video and North Carolina Operation Lifesaver is also a useful resource.

Additional Resources

The National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation Services has several documents on training school bus drivers, including presentations on how to prevent bullying and how to  intervene in bullying behavior.

The Transportation Service Administrations’ First Observer Plus™ Program provides transportation professionals with the knowledge needed to recognize suspicious activity possibly related to terrorism, guidance in assessing what they see, and a method for reporting those observations.