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In-Service Safety Series
In-Service Safety Series
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IV. Backing the Bus

  1. In what circumstances do you back a bus?
    (When you have NO other safe way to move the vehicle.)
  2. Why should you avoid backing the bus?
    (Because there is a lack of visibility; your risk of a collision increases.)
  3. If you have no choice and you must back your bus follow these procedures
    1. Post a lookout inside the bus at the rear of the bus
      1. The purpose of the lookout is to warn you about
        (1) Obstacles
        (2) Approaching persons
        (3) Other vehicles
      2. The lookout should not give directions on how to back the bus
        (1) That is your job
      3. Choose the lookout carefully
        (1) You want a mature and reliable person
        (2) You want someone who can be heard clearly from the back of the bus
    2. Signal for quiet on the bus so you can hear the lookout
    3. As you back, constantly check all mirrors and rear windows
    4. Back slowly and smoothly
    5. If no lookout is available
      1. Set the parking brake
      2. Turn off the motor and take the keys with you
      3. Walk to the rear of the bus to determine whether the way is clear
  4. If you must back at a student pick-up point
    1. Pick up students BEFORE backing
    2. Watch for latecomers at all time
  5. If you must back at a student drop-off point
    1. Unload students AFTER backing
  6. Any questions on backing?

IV.C. Distribute Handout #2


IV.A. Some circumstances when you have no other choice include: a stalled vehicle in front of you, having to get out of a stall, turnarounds on your route.

IV.B. A rear engine transit has a blind spot of five car lengths. A front engine transit with a door in the rear still has a blind spot of 12-15 feet.

IV.C. Distribute Handout #2, Backing the Bus. Have participants follow along as you review it. Be sure to indicate where your procedures may differ, e.g., you may require that the lookout be outside the bus.

IV.C.5. This procedure is for unplanned turnarounds. If a turnaround is part of a route package and done regularly, you may choose to tell people that they don't have to follow this procedure. However, remind them to be alert to unusual or different things that may affect backing safety, e.g., a new mailbox or a moving van.

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