Bus Rules & Safety

  • Families and schools share the responsibility for providing a safe environment for students while they are riding district buses and during times of emergency school closures. Please encourage your child to be cooperative in observing the bus safety rules.

    It is recommended that parents/guardians and students arrive at their bus stops five (5) minutes prior to the published time. Students on buses are expected to conform to behavior rules corresponding to classroom conduct regulations. They must:

      • Remain safely seated and quiet, 
      • Refrain from throwing objects,
      • Keep hands to themselves,
      • Be courteous to others, and
      • Always obey the bus driver.

    Drivers will give bus conduct reports to students who do not follow bus rules, and administrators have the authority to take appropriate disciplinary action, including suspending a student from riding the bus.

    Student safety training extends from reviewing the riders' rules to rehearsing emergency exit procedures. Emergency exit drills are practiced periodically during the year. The bus driver will instruct students on the use of emergency exits and will supervise students as they practice their use.

    Snohomish bus drivers meet all school bus driver certification and CDL requirements, and are well-trained in the use of their bus and emergency equipment. All buses are equipped with two-way radios, most have sanders, and all can use chains when necessary. In addition, some buses have video camera boxes and cameras that are routinely moved from bus to bus.

    We have an outstanding record of keeping our buses and other vehicles safe and well maintained. Our vehicle maintenance crew has received commendations from the Washington State Patrol and the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction for safety inspections. We also regularly purchase new vehicles to keep our bus fleet up to date.

    Bus rules/guidelines

    Click here for a one-page handout on bus expectations (English, Spanish and Russian).

    We highly value the safety of those who ride our buses and will do our best to ensure that each student arrives at school, and back home, safely. For everyone’s safety, it is important that all students are aware of bus rules and regulations  (see district Policy 6605 and Procedure 6605P).  

    • This is a safe bus.
    • Respect yourself, others, and property.
    • Remain safely seated and quiet.
    • Follow the driver’s instructions promptly.
    • Students will obey the driver and any aide assigned to the bus by the district. The driver is in full charge of the bus and passengers and will be obeyed. If an aide is assigned to the bus by the district, they will be primarily responsible for safe student conduct on the bus. When transporting classes or teams, the teacher or coach will be primarily responsible for the behavior of the students. Students will obey both the driver and the aide, teacher, coach, or other staff member.
    • Board a bus when the driver indicates that it is safe for you to do so. Always cross the roadway in front of the bus, never behind the bus.
    • Students will ride only their regularly assigned bus and leave the bus at their regular stop unless with a bus pass or authorized by the school district. To ride another bus or get off at a different stop requires parent/guardian permission and authorization from the school.
    • Students will get on/off the bus in an orderly manner and will obey the instruction of the driver or school safety patrol on duty. There will be no pushing or shoving when boarding or leaving the bus. Once off the bus, students will adhere to rules for pedestrians.
    • Students will stand away from the roadway curb when any bus is approaching or leaving a stop.
    • Students going to and from their bus stops where there are no sidewalks will walk on the left-hand side of the roadway facing oncoming traffic. Students will go directly to their home after leaving the bus.
    • Students will not extend any part of their body outside the bus windows at any time.
    • Students will not open bus windows without the driver’s permission.
    • Aisle ways must be clear of all books, personal belongings, and body parts.
    • Students will not carry or have in their possession items that can cause injury to passengers on the bus. Such items include, but are not limited to sticks, breakable containers, weapons or firearms, straps or pins protruding from clothing, large, bulky items which cannot be held or placed between legs, etc.
    • Students will not have animals on buses, except for those that are district-approved.
    • Students with assigned seats will use only that seat unless permission to change is authorized by the driver.
    • Students will go directly to a seat once inside the bus and remain seated at all times unless the driver instructs otherwise.
    • Students will observe rules of classroom conduct while riding on buses. Noise will be kept down to avoid distracting the driver. Students will refrain from the use of obscene language or gestures.
    • Students will refrain from talking to the driver unless necessary.
    • Students will remain quietly seated, not exhibit disruptive behavior, and turn off all noise-making devices at highway rail grade crossings.
    • Students will not smoke, vape, or ignite lighters or matches on buses.
    • Students will not eat on buses, except when specifically authorized and supervised by an accompanying teacher, coach, or other staff member. Buses will be kept clean.
    • Students will not sit in the driver’s seat or to the immediate right or left of the driver.
    • Students will use seat belts on buses when available.
    • Students will follow emergency exit drill procedures as prescribed by the driver.
    • Students will not tamper with emergency doors or equipment.
    • Parents of students identified as causing damage to buses will be charged with the cost of the damage incurred. Students causing the damage may be suspended from transportation.
    • Student misconduct will constitute a sufficient reason for suspending transportation privileges.
    • Students will be at the bus stop five (5) minutes before the scheduled arrival time and be accountable for their actions. Students will follow proper load and unload procedures.
    • When the driver asks, “May I have your attention please," all eyes are on the driver and remain silent.
    • Sit seat-to-seat, back-to-back.
    • Leave valuables at home.