skip to main content

Chico Unified School District


Chico Unified School District

The safe transportation of students and staff is a primary goal of the school district. This "School Bus Transportation Procedure" is intended to promote safe, efficient and cost effective transportation services.
Road Standards for School Buses
Bus routes will generally be limited to properly maintained, paved roads with no dead ends. A bus route may include limited travel distances on a gravel road(s) if the gravel road is properly maintained. All roads to be traveled by school buses must provide the driver with good visibility and be sufficiently wide for two vehicles to pass safely.
Bus Stop Standards
The number, location and modification of school bus stops will be determined by District staff. Major criteria to be used by the staff to select bus stops are as follows:
  1. safety, convenience, efficiency, cost effectiveness;
  2. impact of bus stops on neighborhood;
  3. located on regularly traveled roads whenever possible;
  4. .25 mile minimum distance between bus stops;
  5. 200 feet minimum visibility for approaching traffic (the California Highway Patrol will be consulted on any exceptions);  
  6. all bus stops must conform to California Code of Regulations Title 13, Section 1238, School Bus Stops.  
Student Travel Time
Staff will attempt to limit student riding time to less than one hour on the morning home-to-school bus route and less than one hour on the afternoon school-to-home bus route.
Student Training for Emergency Evacuation
Consistent with existing State law, the principal/designee and District transportation staff will provide annual bus evacuation training for students. The students may either participate directly or observe an evacuation demonstration by other students.
Student Behavior
Students will be provided with a safe, friendly and positive environment on the school bus. While the students are being escorted across a roadway, loading/unloading the bus or riding on the bus, those students will be under the authority of and directly responsible to the bus driver.  Each student is expected to treat other students in a respectful and cooperative manner.  Any student who does not conduct herself/himself appropriately is potentially jeopardizing the safety and well being of other students on the bus, and that student will be subject to disciplinary action.

Bus Driver Authority and Responsibility
The bus driver is responsible for the safe and orderly conduct of students when they are being escorted across a roadway, loading/ unloading the bus and while riding on the bus. When students are to be escorted across a roadway, the driver will first ensure that it is safe to cross the roadway; then the driver will escort all students in Kindergarten through Grade 6 across the roadway. When being escorted across a roadway, students will be directed to cross in front of the bus, between the bus and the driver. The driver will make certain that all students have safely crossed the roadway before moving the bus. The bus driver need not escort students across a roadway when pedestrian traffic is controlled by a traffic signal. Bus drivers shall have the authority to discontinue the operation of school buses whenever the bus driver determines that it is unsafe to continue.  To help ensure the safety and well being of each student, the bus driver will not require a student to leave the bus while in route between home and school or any other destination. Also, the bus driver will not make a bus stop when fog reduces visibility to less than 200 feet in the immediate area of the bus stop.

Drivers shall activate the flashing amber light warning system, if the bus is so equipped beginning 200 feet before any bus stop where students are loading or unloading. They shall operate the flashing red signal lights and stop signal arm at all times when the bus is stopped to load or unload students. The flashing amber warning lights, flashing red signal lights and stop signal arm shall not be operated at any other time, or at any place where traffic is controlled by a traffic officer.

The use of amber lights, red lights, and stop signal arms will not be required when loading or unloading special education students who are confined to wheelchairs or who are escorted to or from the school bus by a parent, their designee, or by a school official or who may require assistance to load or unload the school bus.  The flashing red signal lights and stop signal arm requirements shall not apply to locations identified by the Superintendent or designee, in consultation with the California Highway Patrol, as presenting a unique traffic hazard due to roadway design or proximity to an intersection.  When the bus is stopped on a highway or private road to load or unload students, and traffic is not controlled by a traffic officer or official traffic control signal, the driver shall:
  1. Check for approaching traffic in all directions and activate the flashing red light signal system and, if the bus is so equipped, the stop signal arm.
  2. Before opening the door, ensure that the flashing red signal lights and stop signal arm are activated and that it is safe to exit the bus.
  3. Escort all students who need to cross the highway or private road, using an approved hand-held STOP sign while so doing.
  4. Require all students to walk in front of the bus as they cross the road or highway.
  5. Ensure that all students who need to cross the road or highway have crossed safely and that all other unloaded students and pedestrians are a safe distance from the bus before setting the bus in motion.
The bus driver will make verbal or written reports to the Transportation Coordinator under the following circumstances:
  1. recurring and/or serious student misbehavior.
  2. parent and/or student complaints regarding transportation services.
  3. any traffic violation involving the driver's bus.
  4. any accident involving a student or District vehicle.
  5. repeated late school dismissals which cause transportation delays. The driver will also report such late school dismissals to the school principal.
  6. any incident of a bus overload.
  7. mechanical or other problems with buses and equipment.