Leander ISD believes every child deserves safe passage from their home to school and back again. We encourage our community to be mindful of bus stop safety to help ensure all our students have safe travels to and from school.

Bus Safety

Bus Stop Safety

School bus drivers do everything they can to keep children safe, but motorists are also responsible for driving safely around school buses. In 2022, seven people were killed and 51 seriously injured in the 2,305 crashes involving a Texas school bus. Driver inattention and speed were the top factors in those crashes.

Tips for drivers sharing the road with school buses

  • Follow at a safe distance, keeping in mind that school buses make frequent stops.
  • Always stay alert for children around buses and remember that they may not always look for vehicles before crossing the street.
  • Stop for flashing red lights or a stop sign on a school bus regardless of which direction you’re headed. Continue once the bus has moved, the flashing lights stop flashing, or the bus driver signals it’s okay to pass.
  • Violations can lead to a fine of up to $1,250 for a first offense.

Tips for students

  • Stand as far back from the curb as possible when you are waiting for a bus.
  • Wait until the bus has come to a complete stop and watch for the driver to signal that it’s safe to board.
  • Listen to the bus driver and sit still to avoid distracting the driver.
  • When exiting the bus, cross only in front of the bus, never behind it. Make eye contact with the driver and wait for the driver’s signal that it’s safe to cross the street.

*Source: Texas Department of Public Safety (Link)

Bus Overcrowding

  • Federal law states that the number of students transported in a school bus must be compliant with the bus manufacturer’s instructions. The bus manufacturer states that in order to ensure maximum safety, all students must fit fully within their seats. There are no set maximum number of students who can be transported on a single bus, and how many kids you can legally transport depends on the size of the children.
  • School bus sizes (per manufacturer’s specifications) are stated in terms of passenger capacity for elementary students. It is assumed that elementary school students will ride three per seat. Middle school students are assumed to ride two to three per seat. High school students are assumed to ride two per seat. If the bus has three elementary school students, two to three middle school students, or two high school students in each seat, it will seem crowded but it will not be over capacity. It is our goal to fully utilize all the space on all the buses in our fleet. 
  • Hands, feet, and bodies can NOT be in the aisles. Students can NOT sit on the floors of buses (yes, we’ve heard about this happening).
  • If you have concerns or questions regarding this, please feel free to contact Leander ISD Transportation at 512.570.0700

Cell Phones

The National Safety Council is focused on efforts to eliminate distracted walking – specifically walking while using a mobile device. Kids often don’t recognize the dangers of distracted walking.

Before your children head out, remind them of these year-round safety tips:

  • Never walk while texting or talking on the phone
  • If texting, move out of the way of others and stop on the sidewalk
  • Never cross the street while using an electronic device
  • Do not walk with headphones in your ears
  • Be aware of your surroundings
  • Always walk on the sidewalk if one is available; if you must walk on the street, face oncoming traffic
  • Look left, right, then left again before crossing the street
  • Cross only at crosswalks

Prohibited Items on the Bus

  • For safety reasons, animals or other living things, glass containers, skateboards, and any other object that, due to its size, would obstruct an aisle or emergency exit, prevent correct student seating, or obstruct the driver’s views are not allowed on the bus. To the extent possible, band instruments will be in the seat with the student. If band instruments cannot safely ride in the student’s seat it will not be allowed on the bus. 
  • Chewing gum is prohibited on a bus. Food and drinks other than water are not permitted on regular bus runs. With the driver’s approval eating may be allowed on long sports or field trips. Peanut products and perfume or other fragrance products are not allowed at any time – allergic reactions can be life threatening. 
  • Student medication cannot be transported to or from school on the bus (with the exception of allergic reaction items, an example are Epipens). Getting a student’s medication to school is the parent’s responsibility.

Refer to Student Code of Conduct for other prohibited items

Seat Belts on the Bus

Leander ISD is proud to have the best and most safety focused equipment to transport our precious cargo, your child. As our commitment to you to transport our students safely, our buses come equipped with 3 point seatbelts. It is also State Law that our students be using the seatbelts while being transported to and from school as well as on any district related event. 

Please encourage your students to help us with promoting seat belt safety!

Educ. Code Section 34.013

Bus Seat Belt Policy:
A school district shall require a student riding a bus operated by or contracted for operation by the district to wear a seat belt if the bus is equipped with seat belts for all passengers on the bus. A school district may implement a disciplinary policy to enforce the use of seat belts by students.

Student Conduct on the Bus

Rules for Student Conduct on LISD School Buses

For your own safety and that of other riders:

  • Stay seated in your assigned seat.
  • Keep your whole body inside the bus.
  • Do not throw anything from the bus.
  • Get on and off ONLY at your assigned stop.
  • No pushing, shoving, fighting, shouting or inappropriate language.
  • No eating, drinking, smoking, spitting, destruction of property, or possession of harmful objects. Plain, unflavored, unsweetened drinking water in plastic containers is the only liquid or food allowed.
  • Do not bother other students or their belongings.

Video Monitoring System

Video camera recording of the bus ride has proven to be a valuable tool in maintaining safe student conduct as well as accident investigation. In the event that an incident or accident occurs, videotapes will be retained, and segments may be provided to the appropriate district or law enforcement agency. 

Due to legal issues, the data on the videotape is considered confidential information and, as a matter of privacy, is not released outside the campus/department without the appropriate legal document.

Accidents & Emergencies

While we all hope every student’s ride on the big yellow bus is always safe and sound, unfortunately, accidents happen.

It’s important to note that a school bus is still the safest way to transport students. The NHTSA says students are 70 times more likely to have a safe ride in the bus versus by car or by walking because buses are designed with that intent and are the most regulated vehicles on the road.

In the event of an emergency, Leander ISD School Bus Drivers are trained and must complete yearly refresher courses on what to do if this situation occurs. Our first and most important focus is the SAFETY and WELL BEING OF YOUR STUDENT. Our safety protocols and training have been developed in conjunction with Leander ISD, State and Local authorities, NHTSA, and many other industry professionals.

As many of our staff are parents or guardians of a student, we know how important and concerning a bus accident or emergency can be. However, it is also very important that we all work together as a team. With that in mind, Here are a few items that will help make situations manageable for all parties involved:

  1. The driver will do a quick health assessment of the students on the bus and determine what type of emergency personnel will be needed (police, fire, ambulance, etc.)
  2. If a bus is in an accident, the driver will contact District dispatch as soon as possible.
  3. A district response team AND law enforcement will be dispatched to the scene.
  4. Students will remain on the bus until released by district personnel unless the situation mandates a bus evacuation to which students will be moved to a safe distance.
  5. If the situation allows for the the bus to continue transporting students (minor accident for example), they will continue on route. If the bus is deemed inoperable, a substitute bus will be dispatched and students will be transferred to that bus and continue on route. It will be very rare occurrence, that students be released to parents or guardians on an accident site. This is for the safety of the students.
  6. As situations warrant, dispatch may send out messages to parents or guardians via Remind or other established communication methods.

For the safety of our students, please do not come to an accident site.

Parent Responsibilities

  • Students who do not usually ride your bus may accompany a regular rider to his or her stop, only if they have a signed permission slip from the school (this requires a parent/guardian note to be approved by the campus Principal.) If a student is to use another stop, (on the same route or on another), a note from the parent must be sent to the office for a bus pass to be issued. On buses already at maximum capacity, passes to ride are not permitted. Please check with your school.
  • Students in Pre-K, Kindergarten and 1st grade must have a legal guardian / adult or older sibling present in order to be released from the bus in the afternoon.
  • Students are assigned seats at all grade levels.
  • All LISD school buses attempt to arrive at every bus stop on time. Due to variances between individual clocks, students are asked to arrive at the bus stop five minutes prior to the scheduled arrival time. Buses do not wait for students who are late, under most circumstances.
  • Special needs transportation follows much the same criteria, but will wait up to three minutes at the stop for the student to load.
  • All buses will wait seven minutes at the school in the afternoon for students to board. Students are expected to proceed immediately to the buses. Once the bus has moved from its normal load position, drivers will not to stop or open the door for late students due to the safety concerns of having students too close to moving bus wheels.
  • The student may use telecommunication devices and audio headphones on the school bus, if their use does not create problems. The displaying or taking of photos, with devices so equipped, is not permitted. Driver may terminate equipment, privileges for the day if it becomes disruptive.