regulations and guidelines

Street Safety

School zones are in effect continuous from 7:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. daily when schools are in session. School bus loading zones provide a safe area for students to embark and disembark the buses. Parents picking up or dropping off their children should not use these areas. They should be aware of the dangers of allowing their children to jaywalk or run between the buses. Children should be instructed in the proper crossing procedures when disembarking the bus at the end of the day. They should:

  • Stand back a safe distance from the bus.
  • Wait until the bus leaves the stop.
  • Walk to the closest intersection.
  • Cross the street only when they have a clear view of traffic in both directions and it is safe to do so.

Student Safety

The Calgary Board of Education and the School Bus carriers want to ensure your child's safety and make their experience on the bus a positive one. September is a hectic time. There are many new faces at each school and bus drivers do not have student lists. Until children are completely familiar with their new bus routes, there can be problems such as boarding the wrong bus, missing their stop or no one waiting at the stop to meet them. The school bus driver wants your child to arrive home safely. To assist the bus driver, ensure you take the following steps:

  • Arrange to have someone (yourself or a caregiver) meet children at their bus stop.
  • Have a plan. Make sure your child knows to stay on the bus if they have missed their stop, are on the wrong bus, or if no one is at their stop to meet them.
  • Teach your child to stay on the bus until they see their parent or caregiver. Children should talk to the driver if they think they are lost or something is wrong. They should not get off the bus.
  • Please put your contact information and your child's name inside their backpack.

School bus drivers are in continuous contact with their dispatcher. Finding the home of a child is much easier than finding a child who got off at the wrong stop. If your child stays on the bus, the driver will ensure your child is looked after. For more information, attend the My 1st Ride.

Bus Safety

The bus capacity of standard charter school buses is 66 - 72 passengers, however, the CBE recognizes the problems associated with loading buses to maximum capacity. The general guidelines used are:

  • Elementary students - 55 to 60 per bus depending on bus capacity
  • Junior High/Middle School students - 44 to 48 per bus depending on bus capacity

Seat Belt Safety

School bus transportation is one of the safest forms of transportation. Yellow Charter and Calgary Transit Buses are not equipped with seat belts. It is important to realize that discussions about "seat belts" on school buses refer to lap belts only, not the three-point lap/shoulder belt combination found in passenger cars and mini-vans. Studies by the National Transportation Safety Board and the National Academy of Services in the US have shown that "compartmentalization" rather than seat belts is the best way to provide crash protection for school bus passengers. Compartmentalization is an engineering design consisting of strong, closely spaced and high backed seats that have energy absorbing seat backs. This provides passenger safety by creating a protective envelope. Actual school bus crash data shows that lap belts provide little if any additional crash protection.

Winter Safety

Charter bus students and parents are reminded that extra caution should be taken during the winter months. Please take a moment and review this important information with your children.

  • Children should be dressed appropriately for the colder weather. Unexpected mechanical problems with the bus may occur more frequently at this time of year. Children must be prepared for this as busses cool off very quickly.
  • CBE schools rarely close and charter bus routes are rarely cancelled due to snow or cold temperatures. Assume that schools are open and busses are running unless you hear otherwise through the local media. Check My School Bus Monitor for messages on delays.
  • Usually cold or stormy weather can result in buses being delayed. We encourage parents to use extra caution with children on those days. Children should be accompanied to the bus stop or have very clear instructions on how long to await for the bus and what to do if the bus does not arrive. Never leave children at the stop without backup arrangements for an emergency.
  • A build-up of ice and snow can create a safety hazard for children waiting at the bus stop. Ensure that your child understands the importance of standing back from the curb as the bus approaches the bus stop.
  • Children will find it easier to walk through the ice and snow when their school books and lunches are carried in a back pack. It is also much safer for them to board the bus with their hands free to use the bus handrail.


Content Moderator: Ron McArthur
Web Administrator: L. Miller
Last Modified: March 25, 2014