The Kansas State Department of Education, upon request by the Kansas Highway Patrol, asked school districts across the state to voluntarily take part in a school bus safety awareness project. The purpose of the project is to raise awareness about illegal passing of school buses.
Fifty-seven of Kansas’ 286 school districts volunteered for the 30-day (school days) project. Data was self-reported by districts from Jan. 23, 2017, through March 3, 2017.
Information was collected from seven regions across the state. The regions coincide with the Kansas Highway Patrol troop areas. Information collected included the type of roadway the bus was traveling on (city, county or highway); the time of day (morning, noon or afternoon); direction (front or rear of bus); and side of the bus (left or right).
This study has several limitations. The school districts that participated volunteered to do so and weren’t randomly selected. This means the data isn’t representative of the state’s districts. Even those districts that did participate had different levels of participation. For example, some districts only participated for part of the study while other districts only have four-day school weeks.
Since the data is self-reported, not reported by impartial observers, the data may have hidden biases. For example, if a bus driver thinks more enforcement is needed, he or she may have overreported the number of incidents. Another driver may think the enforcement is too stringent and may have underreported the number of incidents. Also, the survey doesn’t account for the speed or density of traffic. For these reasons, readers should interpret the data presented here with caution. To have data that is appropriate for policymaking, other scientifically designed studies are needed.
At the end of this report are the results of a one-day survey that Kansas participated in for the National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation Services. There were 188 school districts that took part in this stop-arm violation count, which took place April 19, 2017. The one-day survey and the 30-day survey shouldn’t be compared. A five-year overview of the stop-arm violation count also is included.
Follow this link to view the Kansas 30-DAY School Bus Passing Survey
Stop Arm Violation Brochure
Basic information pertaining to Kansas School Bus Stop Arm Law and when you are required to stop.
Stop Arm Brochure
Document containing talking points regarding the 30 Day Sop Arm Violation Survey.
Publlic Service Announcements
Doug S. Messer, former Manhattan-Ogden School Transportation Director, helped produce two Public Service Announcements regarding Illegal Passing of Stopped School Buses which are linked below. If you would like to utilize these on your local television network please contact:
Andrea Adams, Transportation Director
Manhattan-Ogden USD 383
1120 Hayes Drive
Manhattan, KS 66502
USD 383 Female Student PSA
USD 383 Male Student PSA
While school buses remain incredibly safe, we all know that students who ride buses are most vulnerable when they are outside the bus in the “danger zone.” Kansas is assisting the National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation Services (NASDPTS) in coordinating a national survey to determine the prevalence of illegal passing of school buses. That data will help improve safety countermeasures at the state and national level.
We are enlisting your assistance in this important project. On Wednesday April 18, 2018, please have your district’s school bus operators observe and report all instances of motorists illegally passing their school buses.
School bus drivers should pay particular attention to our examples in our information and examples document. As always, their primary duty is to the safety of their students. Please ensure your drivers report only illegal passes that occur while the school bus is stopped with red warning lights flashing and stop arm(s) deployed in full compliance with state law.
As has been the practice in the past we will have each district or company enter their own data compiled from their collection method directly into the survey which is located at the following link: 2018 link pending
Please enter your district or company results no later than April 26, 2018.
Stop Arm Violation Survey Information & Examples
Optional Driver Report Form and EXCEL Spreadsheet are provided to assist in compiling your district's numbers.
Driver Report Form
EXCEL Spread Sheet for district or company use.
Thank you for your help with this important initiative.
To view Survey Results from 2017 click here
To view Survey Results from 2016 click here
To view Survey Results from 2015 click here
To view Survey Results from 2014 click here
To view Survey Results from 2013 click here.
Under Kansas law, the driver of a vehicle meeting or overtaking from either direction any school bus stopped on the highway shall stop before reaching such school bus when the flashing red lights are in operation. The driver shall not proceed until such school bus resumes motion and the flashing red lights and the stop signal arm are no longer actuated.
School bus drivers activate the warning lights (amber lights) prior to activating the red flashing lights and stop arm allowing drivers time to slow down and stop. The public should be aware that anytime they see a school bus with its warning system activated they are in close proximity of school children.
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) Best Practices Guide for Reducing the Illegal Passing of School Buses
Resolution form the National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation Service (NASDPTS) to conduct a nation-wide one-day survey in each state for persons illegally passing a stopped school bus.
NASPDTS Resolution (PDF)
Links to Public Service Announcements (PSA) can be found on our Safety Materials web page.
School Bus Safety Director
School Bus Safety Assistant Director
Senior Administrative Assistant