TRANSPORTATION POLICY

Forming part of: Giant Steps Tasmania’s Health and Safety Manual

Policy Statement

Giant Steps Tasmania transports students/ adult clients to and from school and to and from excursions on three buses owned by the school. The maximum number of passengers allowed on the two buses that serve the Launceston area is eleven (plus the driver). The maximum number of passengers allowed on the bus that serves the Devonport area is twenty (plus the driver).

Students/ Adult clients are picked up from and delivered to a designated area at the start and end of the day. The time of the pick-up and delivery of students/ adult clients is dependent on the location.

In the mornings, buses may delay departure from the pick-up area for a maximum of 10 minutes, if a parent/ carer has called the driver before the scheduled pick-up time to advise that they are running late. In the afternoons, students/ adult clients are dropped off at the same designated area.

Parents/ Carers accompany student/ adult clients to the bus and meet them from the bus.

Purpose

The aim of this policy is to ensure the safe transportation of students/ adult clients and staff on journeys between the home pick-up point and Giant Steps Tasmania and on excursions organised by Giant Steps Tasmania where Giant Steps Tasmania buses are used.

Implementation 

Giant Steps Tasmania requires, at the time of the student’s/ adult client’s admission, photo ID of any parent/ carer allowed to pick up a student/ adult client. If there is any change to the person picking up the student/ adult client, the parent/ carer must inform the Principal, who will ensure that the information is passed on to the driver, and the person picking up the student must show the bus driver photographic ID before s/ he is allowed to collect the student.

If the student is residing in a Group Home, the member of staff collecting the student must show the driver photographic ID that proves that s/ he is an employee of the Group Home.

Students and staff must not eat on the school buses. Students and staff may drink water only on the school buses. (Please refer Nutrition & Health Policy)

Each school bus is checked daily for road-worthiness by a driver designated by the Principal to carry out these checks.

Bus Drivers (whether employed in this capacity, or acting in this capacity because designated by the Principal) and Bus Supervisors (whether employed in this capacity, or acting in this capacity because designated by the Principal) have primary responsibility for ensuring the safety of Giant Steps Tasmania students on journeys between students’ home pick-up points and the school and on school excursions. (Refer to Transportation: Start/ End of the Day procedures)

Drivers of Giant Steps Tasmania buses must be over 25 years of age, have a clean driving record and be approved by the Principal.

Prospective Drivers must submit a National Police Certificate to the Principal before they can transport students/ adult clients.

Bus Drivers must maintain a Contact List with students’/ adult clients’ names, parent/ carer names, details of respite care/ Group Homes students/ adult clients attend and relevant phone numbers.

Bus Drivers must drive conservatively and defensively, keeping to a speed limit of 100kmph and adhering to traffic advisories. The safety of Giant Steps Tasmania’s students/ adult clients and staff must be the driver’s priority at all times.

Bus Drivers must ensure that a copy of Transportation: Accident and Emergency Procedures are kept on each bus and are easily accessible.

Bus Drivers must ensure that the bus is equipped with a first aid kit and that they give the kit to the Administration Assistant each week to be checked and re-stocked as necessary.

Bus Drivers must ensure that they have a lockable container in which to place students’/ adult clients’ medication delivered to them by parents/ carers or respite care and Group Home employees.

Bus Drivers must ensure that they have a safely-stowed Spill Kit in their bus.

A spill kit contains:

A bucket filled with the necessary equipment to clean up a spill, including:

  • Disposable gloves
  • Paper towels
  • Disposable cloths or sponge
  • Detergent
  • Disposable scraper and pan
  • Sealable plastic bags
  • Disinfectant

It is the Bus Driver’s responsibility to ensure the Spill Kit is properly stocked and safely stowed. Drivers must order supplies through the Administration Assistant when supplies are running low/ wearing out.

Bus Drivers must ensure that the bus has sufficient fuel for the journey.

Bus Drivers must have zero blood alcohol/ drug content when they are driving a school bus, irrespective of whether or not there are students/ adult clients on board.

Bus Drivers must follow the same route between the home pick-up point and school and between school and the home drop-off point, unless there are diversions in place.

Bus Drivers must not interact with students/ adult clients. If a driver has concerns that a student’s/ adult client’s behaviour may impact on safety, s/he must speak to a Bus Supervisor.

Bus Drivers must not speak to Bus Supervisors while the bus is moving, unless it is essential to preserve the safety of the students/ adult clients.

Bus Drivers must ensure that the school mobile phone is on the bus and that it is charged and switched on. The Bus Driver must give the phone to a Bus Supervisor before starting to drive.

The following people may be designated as Bus Supervisors:

  • Staff whose working day ends at 4.00pm.
  • Staff whose working day ends at 3.15pm but who are willing to be designated as Bus Supervisors on a route to/ from their home town in exchange for free transport to/ from their home town.
  • Staff whose working day ends at 3.15 but who are willing to be designated as Bus Supervisors on a route that is not to/ from their home town in exchange for an agreed payment  

The following staff may not be designated as Bus Supervisors:

Volunteers (Volunteers are allowed to use the school buses to travel to/ from home but they do so at their own risk and are not allowed to supervise students/ adult client.

Bus Supervisors are responsible for all interactions with the students/ adult clients and for ensuring that the students/ adult clients are calm and not over-stimulated on the journey.

When supervising students/ adult clients who may self-stimulate on the bus, Bus Supervisors should aim to distract the student/ adult client and/or replace the activity.

Bus Supervisors are responsible for Risk Assessing students/ adult clients and determining whether they are fit to travel. Agitated students/ adult clients and students/ adult clients who are known to have experienced vomiting and/ or diarrhoea since leaving school the previous day, or who did experience vomiting and/ or diarrhoea at school the previous day will not be allowed to travel into school. (Please refer Recognising and Responding to Contagious Diseases)

Students are allowed to bring games and devices with age-appropriate games and music loaded onto them. If the music or games are not age-appropriate, the Bus Supervisors will deal with the matter from school by contacting the parent/ carer and reminding them of this policy. The Bus Supervisors will not attempt to remove the device from the student during the journey.

Students/ Adult clients are not allowed to bring mobile phones onto the school bus. If a student/ adult client does have a mobile phone on the bus, the Bus Supervisors will deal with the matter from school by contacting the parent/ carer and reminding them of this policy. The Bus Supervisors will not attempt to remove the phone from the student/ adult client during the journey.

It is the Bus Supervisors’ responsibility to make sure that all passengers wear seat belts at all times on the bus. Some students need to wear a Buckle Guard or Harness when travelling on the bus for their own safety. (Please refer Transportation: Buckle Guard and Harness Procedures). It is the Bus Supervisors’ responsibility to ensure these are fastened correctly.

It is the Bus Supervisors’ responsibility to make sure that no passenger stands while the bus is moving.

In the event of a Traffic Accident occurring during the journey to/ from school or on an excursion, staff must follow the Transportation: Accident and Emergency Procedures.  A copy of this document is kept by the Bus Driver on each bus.

In the event of a Medical Emergency occurring during the journey to/ from school or on an excursion, staff must follow the Transportation: Accident and Emergency Procedures.  A copy of this document is kept by the Bus Driver on each bus.

In the event of a Behavioural Incident occurring during the journey to/ from school or on an excursion, staff must follow the Transportation: Accident and Emergency Procedures.  A copy of this document is kept by the Bus Driver on each bus

Buses may be borrowed by Giant Steps Tasmania’s staff with the permission of the Principal. Smoking on the bus is not allowed and drivers must have zero blood alcohol/ drug content when they are driving a school bus, irrespective of whether or not there are students/ adult clients on the bus.