On the Move: Inside Bryan ISD’s school bus safety protocol

BRYAN, Tex. (KBTX) - Bryan ISD officials say safety is their top priority for students, and that starts when they’re picked up at the bus stop.

Bryan ISD Director of Transportation Warren Lanphier says there is still some confusion for drivers when they see the yellow school bus coming down the road. Lanphier clears that up: the bus driver will turn on red and yellow flashing lights, send out the connected stop sign on the bus, and any drivers approaching or behind the bus must stop.

“If it’s not a divided road, you have to stop for the bus,” Lanphier said. "Only on a divided highway--where there’s a median in between--do you not have to stop."

A Bryan ISD bus was involved in a car accident last year when a driver side-swept the bus as it approached a stop.

Now, Lanphier says the bus drivers are spending more time in training and on driver safety issues.

Experienced school bus driver Markeacha Allen has a routine every single time she clocks in the morning.

“I will turn on my bus and check all of the lights to make sure they’re working; make sure nothing is leaking on the bottom of the bus, and make sure the kids are safe when we pick them up in the morning,” Allen said.

Bryan ISD also implemented a new school bus tracking system last school year that has helped bring some parents peace of mind.

Lanphier says it has also helped make the routes more efficient.

Voters approved a $12 million bond this year that Lanphier says will help replace fleets that are going out of service.

“We’ve got four new travel buses for our trips and football, around 19 new route buses with A/C and high-tech camera systems to try to make things a little safer for the kids, too,” Lanphier said.