We Value Safety
Safety is one of our core company values, and nothing is more important than the safety of our passengers.
There is no safer way to transport students to school than on a school bus.* Our goal is to provide the safest transportation possible for students who ride our buses. We don’t take that responsibility lightly.
Driving Out Harm
Driving Out Harm is our principal safety program. It aims to educate all employees on how important it is to drive out all risks of harm to our customers, employees and others affected by our business. We are all leaders in safety at National Express School and have personal responsibility for safety in the workforce and safety on the roads. Through our 12 Global Standards, we identify all national and local requirements, appropriate levels of management and supervision, and expect all levels of personnel to manage our health and safety policies. We feel confident that our program is a significant distinction from all other school bus providers and is an ideal fit for your district’s expectations.
- Competence and Fitness of Bus Drivers
- Competence and Fitness of Maintenance Staff
- Competence and Fitness of Other Staff Personnel
- Drug and Alcohol Screening
- Safety of Vehicles
- Safety of Premises
- Risk Assessment
- Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
- Accident and Incident Investigation
- Incident Response and Management
- Safety Audit and Management Checks
- Safety Validation of Change
Daily & Preventive Maintenance
We are industry leaders when it comes to maintaining our buses to ensure passenger safety. Our safety begins with safe vehicles. Our 13-touchpoint pre- and post-trip inspection is industry leading. We monitor both vehicle maintenance and perform diligent child checks using state-of-the-art Zonar® technology.
Our school district partners benefit from our nationally recognized preventive maintenance program. Our industry-leading preventive maintenance schedule goes above and beyond government requirements. Every school day, our drivers do a multi-point inspection before and after each route to check for maintenance issues that need immediate attention. In addition, all buses are subject to comprehensive preventive maintenance inspections at least three times a year; that is above and beyond government requirements. All inspections include examining everything from addressing cosmetic issues to checking tires, brakes, engine performance and suspension.
Vehicles are maintained in accordance with manufacturer recommendations and requirements. Our preventive maintenance program meets and exceeds state and federal inspection requirements. In addition, we follow our company’s preventive maintenance program:
- No bus leaves the lot to pick up students without the driver having first completed a multi-point, pre-trip inspection that documents any safety or maintenance issue—no matter how small—and clears the bus for travel. Critical issues are reported to our service center where crews are dispatched to make repairs.
- Many of our buses are equipped with technology that constantly monitors the vehicle’s operating condition, sending real-time data back to our dispatchers who ensure that no critical issues put the safe operating condition of the bus at risk.
- Our drivers have the freedom to escalate any maintenance issue to a critical level—providing a check-and-balance to ensure that no bus takes to the road with an issue that could lead to a breakdown or that could inconvenience student passengers.
Each of our buses is scheduled for regular preventive maintenance inspection according to hours of operation, miles traveled, or days operated, depending on the type of operation and service being provided.
Suite of Safety Services
Did you know that riding a bus to school is the safest way for children to get to and from school? It’s 12 times safer than riding to school in a car and 10 times safer than walking.*
There is nothing more important to us than safety, one of our core values. Our safety program is comprehensive, from hiring and employee recognition to daily protocols and procedures in order to ensure all students are safe at all times when in our care.
An effective safety program must encompass all aspects of transportation, including operations, training, maintenance, and administration, while remaining focused on people, students, employees and the public. Our number one responsibility is to protect against harm and to give our customers the confidence that we will provide safe and reliable service every day.
All of our vehicles are being equipped with DriveCam® technology. DriveCam® is a video-based driver safety program that identifies, prioritizes and helps prevent the causes of coachable driving situations and enables us to address concerns and encourage safe driving behavior.
BusReport™ is our proprietary cloud-based feedback tool for our customers, parents and members of the communities in which we operate to provide us real-time feedback regarding our service. To file a report regarding a driver or bus, please visit: BusReport.com or call: 1-833-BUSREPORT.
Our drivers use Zonar’s Electronic Verified Inspection Reporting (EVIR®) to complete the bus’s pre- and post-trip inspections. Each zone must be checked before and after route service. During the inspection, the zone’s information is automatically uploaded to Zonar’s ground traffic control application and alerts operations if an inspection is incomplete.
We are one of a handful of school bus transportation providers that equip buses with a total of 13 Zonar® zones, three of which are child check zones.
Our Child Check System is dedicated to making sure that students are transported to and from school safely. We require drivers to thoroughly check a bus at the end of each route and prior to leaving the bus to make sure that every child has exited the bus.
Our Child Check policy requires a slow, deliberate walk from the front of the bus to the back, checking for children in and under every seat. We have a zero tolerance policy, and failure to follow this policy — even if a child was not left unattended — will lead to disciplinary action. In addition, drivers may place a Child Check sign in the center back window to indicate that the bus has been checked and is empty. The driver is the only person who may display or remove this sign and they take this responsibility very seriously.
Bus Tracker® Mobile App
National Express School is proud to offer our proprietary mobile app for tracking your students’ buses in near real time. If your district is using compatible routing software, we offer parents and guardians access to our free mobile app, available to download for free through the App Store and Google Play.
Employee Hiring and Evaluating
We have high expectations for our employees and look for the best to serve your district. Our corporate recruitment team will partner with local operations staff to develop a comprehensive staffing campaign, including appropriate print and online advertising, promotions with local vendors, and various other techniques customized for your community. Working closely with the local management team, we use a variety of recruitment techniques to attract employees from your local area and incorporate an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) to hire all driver, monitor, maintenance and staff employees. This system allows us to apply a consistent hiring process that complies with all employment legislation. The ATS also allows us to evaluate our hiring effectiveness and provides us with key metrics to ensure we continually improve our overall recruiting efforts.
After an employee is selected for employment, we use a third party vendor, an industry-leading hiring process management and compliance company, to ensure the background checks, drug testing, DOT checks, physicals, driving records and other mandated background information is thoroughly screened to ensure our company acquires the most qualified candidates.
Our employees have the responsibility to ensure their environment is safe for themselves and for the safety of the children they transport; we take injury prevention very seriously. We administer a thorough training program for new employees, as well as ongoing training through monthly safety meetings. We maintain each employee’s focus on safety through printed materials, daily safety messages and awareness campaigns.
Recognizing employees for safe performance is an honor and privilege. Employees with accident-free records are acknowledged through our safety recognition program. We reward drivers and monitors with certificates, pins and annual award ceremonies for safe performance.