Road safety

School bus training: safely to school with OMNIplus

Many children take the bus to school every day. But there is often impatient jostling at bus stops and inside the buses - a situation that can quickly become dangerous for children.

OMNIplus school bus safety training is designed to raise the awareness of primary schoolchildren in particular about the dangers in and around the bus so as to prevent dangerous situations from arising in the first place. Directed specifically at primary schoolchildren and their school bus drivers, OMNIplus school bus safety training aims to teach correct behaviour both at bus stops and inside the bus. What's the best way to get on and off the bus? What is a blind spot? And why should I hold on when travelling by bus? All of these and other questions are discussed and answered during the school bus training.

Goerdt Gatermann is Head of OMNIplus Driver Training. He knows what matters when it comes to school bus training: "We think it's important for schoolchildren and bus drivers to do the training together. It promotes greater understanding for one another. Schoolchildren and bus drivers do the training together in the morning. In the afternoon, bus drivers practise emergency braking so that they can react correctly in dangerous situations and learn how the bus behaves at these critical moments." The primary schoolchildren experience numerous "light-bulb moments" during the course of the training. A potato, for example, seems very robust and barely suffers a scratch in the hands of the children. Yet the weight of a bus can crush it effortlessly - as the astonished children find out in a mini-experiment. In another test, the children experience at first hand the centrifugal forces that can act on them in the bus during an emergency stop, even if the bus is not travelling very fast. The vividness and familiar nature of the examples makes them really stick in the mind, as Goerdt Gatermann confirms: "Schoolchildren frequently remember specific exercises from their school bus safety training many years afterwards. [...] The teachers at schools which repeatedly take part in the training tell us this all the time."

The school bus safety training highlights the dangers that lurk at bus stops and in the bus for the children. Not to stir up fear, however. Instead, the aim is to defuse or even eliminate difficult situations by raising the children's awareness.

In addition to the school bus driver training, "parents should accompany their children on their first bus journeys and give them tips on correct behaviour. Good preparation and highlighting such dangers prevent risky situations," says Goerdt Gatermann.

Schools wishing to register for OMNIplus school bus safety training can do so online via the OMNIplus Training Portal. Here they can search for available dates or request preferred dates for the training.