Some 15,000 Canyons District students begin and end their day with a trip on a bus. As a form of mass transit, buses keep thousands of cars off the road, reducing emissions and helping to improve the quality of the air we breathe. Buses are also the safest form of travel, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
CSD’s school buses are driven by professionals with Commercial Driver’s Licenses and are held to a higher safety standard than regular vehicles. In one school year, our buses can be inspected up to 400 times. CSD mechanics maintain about 180 buses, and for their efforts in 2017, were awarded the Utah Highway Patrol’s Safety Gold Medal. The status is a rare distinction — and a sign that CSD students are traveling on the safest buses possible.
Technology also plays a role in bus safety. Every bus has cameras capable of monitoring what takes place on the bus. The buses are also equipped with a Zonar GPS Tracking system, which relays information about their location, speed, engine health and exactly what time it arrived and left each bus stop — in real time. With the start of each school year, Canyons District asks patrons to be on the lookout for young children walking to schools and bus stops, and to be mindful that buses make frequent stops. The District also asks students to adhere to the District’s Bus Code of Conduct.
Safe Walking Routes
When students head out the door, we want them to be safe, whether they are walking, riding their bikes, or skipping down the sidewalk. State law mandates that schools designate Safe Walking Routes for students who walk or ride their bikes to school. School Community Councils define the routes for students in their school, and work with the District to provide a map of the route, which may include suggested improvements like crosswalks, crossing guards, sidewalks, and more. Schools post their Safe Walking Routes on their websites.
Cities — or in some places, the county — determine whether an area should receive safety improvements to assist students as they cross the street. Generally speaking, cities approve crossing guards in areas where 10 or more children cross the street. Students who walk or ride their bike to school should familiarize themselves with the school’s Safe Walking Route as recommended by administrators in partnership with each School Community Council. Together, we can keep our roadways safe.
Parking Lot Safety
One of the busiest places to be at school, whether just before the first bell rings or just after class is dismissed, is the parking lot. A keen eye, cautious approach, and the ability to follow instructions goes a long way in moderating the flow of traffic in and out of Canyons’ school parking lots, but Canyons has made improvements on school pick-up and drop-off zones, curbing, and other measures that improve the direction of traffic. Schools also develop plans to address traffic needs at their individual sites.
Traveling to School Safety Tips
With the start of each school year, Canyons District asks patrons to be on the lookout for young children walking to schools and bus stops, and to be mindful that buses make frequent stops. The District also asks students to adhere to the District’s Bus Code of Conduct. Together, we can keep our roadways safe.
- Pedestrians should stick to sidewalks when possible and walk facing traffic. Before crossing the street or train tracks, even at a crosswalk or designated area, stop and look left and right.
- When biking or skateboarding to school, children should wear a helmet and understand traffic rules. They should come to a complete stop at crosswalks and walk their bike or skateboard across. Bikes and skate boards are not safe for use on train station platforms.
- Never dart out in front of a parked car.
- Avoid distractions. Do not bike, drive a motor vehicle, or cross a busy area while texting, talking on the phone or using headphones.
- Obey all traffic signals and signs, and never go around a lowered gate at train crossings.
- Drivers must always yield to pedestrians and should take extra care in school zones and at crosswalks.
- It is illegal to pass a bus that is loading or unloading children.