National School Bus Safety Week
Oct. 19-23, 2015
Poster Contest Theme: “Bully Free Zone!”

Winning Posters submitted by C Martin's Bus Service Ltd.

Winning Posters submitted by Barr Bus Lines Ltd.

Winning Posters submitted by Whitteker Bus Lines Ltd.

Poster Contest Details

ISBOA has made it easy for our members to promote school bus safety through a poster contest with local schools during SCHOOL BUS SAFETY WEEK. Please follow the step by step instructions below to raise School Bus Safety awareness in your area through this poster contest.

  • STEP 1: Contact your local school/school board. You can use the following PDF as an instruction guide for principals and teachers. Click here to download the PDF flyer that explains how the contest works.
    NOTE: If you want to include your logo on the poster, please email us at
  • STEP 2: Teachers will run the poster contest in their classrooms according to the instructions mentioned in the PDF flier above and submit the results to you by October 23, 2015. Each operator is encouraged to determine their own approach to prizes for the contest.  In the past other operators have used movie passes and vouchers. 
  • STEP 3: Once you choose the winner, send ISBOA a scan or photo of the poster by October 28, 2015 by email to The winning posters will be published on ISBOA’s website and facebook page by November 3, 2015.

If you require any further information/details, please contact us using this link.

Poster Specifications:

POSTER THEME: "Bully Free Zone"

  1. Completed poster size must be 11” x 17”.
  2. On the back of the poster please include the student’s name, grade, teacher’s name and school name.
  3. Do not laminate, use stencils, stickers, tracings, glued paper, wood, plastic, glass, or metal as part of your design.
  4. All drawings and lettering must be freehand.
  5. Do not use any copyrighted characters, photographs, and magazine or newspaper illustrations.
  6. Please print clearly.
  7. Please do NOT roll posters.

Winners will be featured on ISBOA website and Facebook page

School Bus Safety Week 2015 Op Ed

With all the daily stresses that families face, let’s take a moment to celebrate one of the few worry-free parts of a parent’s day – the daily bus trip to and from school.

Our children are the most precious cargo transported on our highways.  Purpose-built school buses are a big part of why student transportation is 16x safer than any other mode.  But the contribution of the school bus driver goes largely unnoticed.

October 19-23 is National School Bus Safety Week and there’s no better time to appreciate and salute Ontario’s 18,000 school bus drivers.

Many of us find it challenging managing 6 or 7 of our children’s friends at their birthday party once a year.  Just imagine having responsibility for 72 children of varying ages, abilities, and moods, while navigating a 40’ bus along icy back roads or narrow urban streets.  Some school bus drivers have 3 different bus loads of kids each morning and night, and may be expected to remember over 200 bus stops.

School bus drivers are part of virtually every community and rural area in Ontario. They are professionals who have retired early from a previous career, seniors looking for a part-time job, or a stay-at-home parent. Often, they are your next door neighbour.

School bus drivers are dedicated professionals who must meet Ministry of Transportation standards for a “B” class driver’s license. They receive hours of specialized training, including written exams and road tests. They complete certified driver improvement courses and must take periodic ministry administered re-examinations and regular medical exams. Their driving records and criminal records are screened to a standard higher than any other class of license.

Training is an annual company requirement and includes refresher courses in Highway Traffic Act regulations, in-vehicle technology, and defensive driving techniques. Drivers keep current on the dynamics of their vehicles including different types of braking systems, the school bus danger zones and fuel efficiency, to name just a few.

Long before most students are out of bed in the morning, their school bus driver is performing a pre-trip inspection, completing a detailed checklist of every safety feature.  When temperatures dip below -20 C, the process of starting a frozen bus is a thankless task.

If you are in the school bus industry, the alarm goes off long before 6:00 am.  The first students board shortly after 7:00 am and 71 passengers later they arrive at school. As soon as the last of those passengers enters the school, many drivers head out to the first pick up on the second route of the morning.

School bus drivers follow special rules for SK and JK students.  A parent or guardian must be with their child for pick up and drop off.  It’s the driver’s responsibility to know who can – and can’t – meet the child at the bus stop.  If a parent is not at the drop off, the driver cannot let the child off, and must take the child back to school and school officials.  It’s a responsibility fraught with challenges.

While the job title is “School Bus Driver”, the job description involves much more than driving.  It goes without saying that bus drivers must be aware at all time of the traffic conditions and hazards, but the chaotic nature of boarding and deboarding at bus loading zones requires everyone’s full attention.  Distracted driving takes on a whole new meaning as a school bus driver.

More recently, safe transportation includes the responsibility to ensure that school buses are a bully-free zone.  While teachers monitor bullying in the classroom and school yards, school bus drivers must monitor bullying in a mobile environment, complete with construction, detours, and congestion.  And it’s not just what happens inside the bus. School bus drivers must monitor other drivers’ violations such as illegally passing a stopped school bus. It’s hard to believe, but even with flashing red lights and a stop arm in the shape of a stop sign protruding into the lane of traffic, cars still pass stopped school buses.

While the responsibilities and complexities of the job continue to increase, sadly the pay has not.  No school bus driver does it for the money!  School bus drivers take pride in knowing that a job well-done means kids arrive at school, ready to learn.

During School Bus Safety Week, please take a moment to thank your child’s school bus driver and let them know how much you appreciate their dedication and professionalism.


Steve Hull, President,
Independent School Bus Operators Association