Ministry of Transportation / Ministère des Transports
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I. Loading and unloading passengers

As a school-bus driver, it is your responsibility to ensure the safety of your passengers. This is especially important to remember when you are loading or unloading your passengers, as these are the times at which they are most vulnerable.

“Spotters,” or safety patrollers, may help the school-bus driver when loading or unloading a school bus. The spotter can prevent the driver from hitting children who may have stopped in a blind area in front of the vehicle.

Recently developed safety equipment includes newly designed mirrors or multiple mirror-adjustment systems, motion-detector systems, bumper-mounted crossing barriers, and perimeter braking systems. When drivers and passengers are trained to use them effectively, they will enhance safety.

Keep the following rules in mind:

  • Turn on the upper, alternating red signal lights before stopping to load or unload your passengers.
  • As soon as the bus is stopped, extend the stop arm and the pedestrian student safety crossing arm.
  • Remain stopped with the lights flashing and the stop and crossing arms extended until all passengers who must cross the highway have done so.
  • Do not load or unload passengers on a steep grade or curve. You should have a clear view of the road in each direction for at least 150 metres (500 ft.).
  • Stop on the travelled portion of the roadway and not the shoulder to load or unload passengers.
  • Never load the bus beyond its licensed capacity.
  • As a final step in loading passengers, you must ensure that all traffic has stopped before signalling students to board.