School transport allows children to access out-of-school activities and extramural activities and, as such, is vital. This doesn’t make it any easier to let children go on a school trip as there is often some anxiety as to their safety. The one essential aspect of such transport must thus be its safety. This ensures that parents and carers feel comfortable with the option of the school minibus. This article will look at how safe these school minibuses are, and attempt to alleviate the stress and anxiety you may feel having your child on a minibus for a school trip or outing.
The aspects that make school minibus transport safe
· Driver licenses and ongoing testing
Any driver of a school minibus that is paid to drive will need to have a specific professional driver’s license. Furthermore, the ongoing driver assessments and testing for this public/minibus permit mean that your child will have a highly qualified and experienced driver at the wheel. The vetting of drivers and drivers’ assistants is also mandatory and provides a layer of safety that you should welcome.
· Strict risk assessment requirements
The driver of a minibus and the management/owner of the minibus are required by law to complete regular risk assessments of the vehicle and the type of trips that are done therein. There is also the recording of all maintenance and servicing. It thus follows that the school minibus will always be in road-worthy condition.
· Trackers and speed limiters
Most school vehicles, especially those that carry children on public roads, will have a speed limiter and are tracked. This means that speed, which is the main cause of road traffic accidents, will be controlled and monitored. Ask about the speed that school vehicles are allowed to travel at or simply check to see if there is a speed limit on the rear of the vehicle.
· Spacious and comfortable
The school minibuses that are used on school trips are more spacious and comfortable than other modes of school transport, and some impressive examples can be seen at theminibuscentre.com, which provides a clear idea as to the space and seating comfort.
· Easier to monitor behaviour on board
On a school minibus, it is a lot easier to ‘control’ and monitor than on a school bus or some of the other forms of school transport. It is small enough for the staff member on board to be able to monitor and ensure appropriate driving and in-transit behaviour, i.e., no walking around at any time.
In short, yes, the school minibus is indeed a safe and acceptable form of transport. However, the aspects discussed above must be considered and should be in place to ensure that your children are being transported as safely as possible. As aforementioned, feel free to ask and discuss any safety concerns that you may have with the school staff involved, preferably well in advance of a planned trip, and don’t be quizzing the driver before departure as they’ve already been evaluated and vetted.