School Bus Safety

Industry Best-Practice Guidance

NHTSA LogoNHTSA Guidelines

Guideline for the Safe Transportation of Pre-school Age Children in School Buses

Original NHTSA document on using child safety restraints on school buses for children below kindergarten age/size. Posted as a still-useful reference.

See NHTSA’s document (pdf)

Choosing the Correct School Bus For Transporting Pre-School Age Children

The transportation of pre-school age children in school buses has increased significantly, and will continue to increase. Organizations providing pre-school transportation extend beyond traditional school systems to include child care and Head Start programs. Regardless of which organization is transporting pre-school age children, the goal of all is to do so safely. This NHTSA publication will help you select the type of school bus you need and determine the features and equipment necessary to allow you to transport safely your pre-school passengers.

See NHTSA’s report

Safe Kids Worldwide Guidelines

Best Practice Guidance for Transporting Children on School Buses

Safe Kids Worldwide (SKW) has provided this document as a reference for developing and implementing national, state, and local guidance and best practices regarding pupil transportation in school buses.

See SKW’s chart (pdf)

See SKW’s letter (pdf)


NASDPTS Position Papers and Reports

The National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation Services (NASDPTS) issues statement papers reflecting best practice on school transportation topics.  Find links to all position papers at

NASDPTS Papers and Reports of Note

Lap/Shoulder Belts in School Buses (May 2020) See the NASDPTS paper (pdf)

Vans Used for School Transportation (Dec 2017) See the NASDPTS paper (pdf)

Sharing Student Health and Medical Information (Report by Peggy Burns, Esq., Oct 2014) See the NASDPTS paper (pdf)

NTSB Reports

The National Transportation Safety Board is a governmental, non-regulatory agency that thoroughly investigates all significant U.S. crashes, including those involving school buses.  A webpage that compiles and links to student-transportation-related NTSB reports can be found on the NASDPTS site.   At, look under Resources or go to