School buses are designed to transport children to and from school. Depending on where the school is located some children live too far away to walk. Therefore the school district is required to offer them a way to get there. This can mean they have to be on the school bus for a long time before and after school in order for the route to stay on schedule. It depends on where their home falls in that scheduled route. It is important for children to have a way to contact their parents in case they miss the bus though to make other arrangements.
School buses are also used by the school to give students rides to educational events, to take them of field trips, and for the sports teams to travel to their games. Most schools assume no responsibility for injuries and accident that can occur on the school bus. However, the school district does have a responsibility to carefully assess all of their employees. All bus drivers for the school should have a valid CDL, pass a background check, and have a good driving record.
Safety on school buses is very important though. It is required for all students to have a school bus evacuation drill. This way they know what to do in the event of an emergency. There is a back door on a school bus that can be used and often side windows that open up. Many of the newer models also have a hatch on the roof that can be used if necessary as well.
You may wonder why school buses don't feature seat belts for students. After all, we are often reminded that they need to be wearing one while transported in personal vehicles. This us due to the special design of the seats. They are made to reduce the impact a person will feel in the event of an accident. Still, as a parent you have to worry about roll overs and things where the children will be going all over the place.
Other drivers on the road need to be very careful with school buses as well. Always watch for when they are going to stop. They may be planning to let kids out on a corner or other area where you didn't expect. Never pass a school bus that is letting off passengers either. You can harm a child that is crossing the street in front of the bus.