Drivers must be aware of and comply with the requirements set out in the contract under which the service operates, and must:
- Abide by all road traffic laws.
- Regulate the speed of contract school buses so as to ensure the safety and comfort of passengers.
- Ensure that any escape doors on contract school buses are and remain unlocked whilst passengers are on board.
- Ensure that all passengers are seated while a contract school bus is in motion.
- If the school bus is fitted with seatbelts, remind all passengers that they must securely fasten their seatbelts and keep them fastened for the duration of the journey.
- Other than in extraordinary circumstances, ensure that no student is standing on a contract school bus whilst the vehicle is in motion.
- Warn disembarking passengers of road and traffic dangers.
- Stop before traversing any railway crossing that does not have flashing lights and at any road intersecting with a main road.
- Comply with the provisions of the safety management plan applicable to drivers.
- Comply with the requirements of the Code of Practice on Fatigue Management for Commercial Vehicle Drivers approved by the Minister as a code of practice under the Occupational and Safety and Health Act 1984 (WA) and with such other requirements as the PTA or SBS may from time to time require.
- Maintain a neat, clean personal appearance, with the appropriate clothing and footwear.
Drivers must not:
- Allow any doors to remain open whilst the bus is in motion.
- Allow passengers to ride in a position which obstructs the driver’s view.
- Allow passengers to ride on the steps or entry area of the bus.
- Leave the bus with students on board whilst its engine is running, unless a bus aide is on board and the driver is assisting a student on or off the bus.
- Permit the bus to proceed with the gears disengaged for a greater distance than is reasonable having regard to all of the circumstances.
- Open the doors of the bus to allow passengers to disembark if there is possible danger to those passengers from approaching vehicles or other road hazards.
- Consume alcoholic beverages within eight hours prior to, or during, the time the driver operates the bus.
- Use or be under the influence of any drugs, including alcoholic beverages and prescribed medications, except where the driver is required to take medication and where the contractor has advised SBS of that fact and has provided SBS with a medical certificate which demonstrates that the medication will not in any way impair the driver’s abilities.
- Smoke on the bus or while providing the services.
- Use profane or obscene language in the presence or hearing of any student.
- Carry firearms on the bus, nor objects of a heavy or bulky nature, including fuel in containers other than the fuel tanks of the bus; or
- Permit luggage or other objects to be placed in the aisle of the bus or in front of any doors or emergency exits.
Additional responsibilities for drivers of education support vehicles
In addition to the general responsibilities set out above, drivers transporting students to Education Support Facilities must:
- Maintain the safety of all students and the bus aide on the bus.
- Ensure that all students are seated and that any harnesses or belts are properly secured before moving off.
- Ensure each student is picked up/dropped off at the designated points.
- Be familiar with information contained in the Care Plan.
- Inform parents/carers of pick-up and drop-off times.
- Advise parents/carers and schools or facilities if the service is running more than 15 minutes early or late.
- Inform schools or facilities of any student absences or changes in transport arrangements (eg appointments, respite).
- Endeavour to maintain the timetable for the service, which will require checking to ensure the service is not running early or not delayed through waiting for students.
- If a student can not be dropped off because the parent/carer or responsible adult is not present, complete and leave a Parent/Carer Not in Attendance form at the student’s address.
- Ensure that the bus has a operational and accessible mobile phone.
- Maintain a current route map and emergency contact details for all students.
- Transport students to respite facilities as directed by the school or facility or SBS.
- Ensure that students are transported to respite facilities only along approved routes, unless otherwise approved by SBS.
- Ensure that all students transported to respite facilities are included on the student attendance register.
Medication and feeding
In most circumstances, drivers and bus aides are not authorised or permitted to administer medications to students.
The parents/carers of students who are likely to require medication administered enroute or who need help with feeding should liaise with the principal of the facility the student is attending, the contractor and driver to determine whether the needs of the student can be accommodated.
No private arrangements with parents/carers
Contractors and drivers may only admit students on a contract school bus with the approval of the relevant SBAC or SBS.
Drivers must not make private arrangements with parents/carers regarding delivery of children to or from a school or education support facility.
If a parent/carer contacts a driver regarding transport to a respite centre, the driver should tell the parent/carer to direct their inquiry to the relevant education support facility.