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When travelling between home and school, students must adhere to various regulations regarding passenger behaviour and the codes of conduct for travel by bus and or rail.It is every student's responsibility to behave in a manner that ensures the safety and comfort of passengers and drivers. This includes:

Behaving appropriately

•  Behave safely at all times.

•  Respect the needs and comfort of other passengers, such as no use of offensive or racist language, fighting, spitting, placing feet on seats, throwing things in or from the bus, eating or drinking - except water - unless the bus operator gives permission.

•  Keep arms, legs and other parts of their bodies inside the bus.

•  Protect all property and report any vandalism.

•  Follow instructions about safety.

•  Obey reasonable directions from the driver, such as where to sit or to remain in the bus.

•  Adhere to the law that bans smoking.

•  Give up seats to all adults and disabled passengers.

  Refrain from attracting the attention of the driver except in the case of emergency.

Respecting property

•  Protect bus property.

•  Ensure that buses are not vandalised.

  Report any vandalism, such as graffiti and window etching.

If students misbehave on buses (for example):

Unacceptable behaviour such as using offensive or racist language, disobeying reasonable directions from the driver, smoking, spitting, damaging property, eating on the bus, distracting the driver with persistent noise, or

Dangerous behaviour such as seriously bullying or harassing other passengers, fighting, letting any part of your body protrude from the bus, throwing objects inside or outside the bus, using matches and lighters, carrying dangerous items and group misbehaviour, or

Highly dangerous behaviour such as interfering with safety equipment, pushing students out of the doors or windows, assaulting the driver or other passengers and destruction of bus property

Such behaviour may lead to:

  Loss school travel privileges.

  Permanent suspension of school bus travel privileges, or being banned from travelling on buses may apply for repeated offences.

  Being banned from travelling on buses.

The police will be called to deal with highly dangerous behaviour.

A group of school students behaving unacceptably may risk higher penalties if their conduct puts the safety of other passengers or the driver at risk.

Consequences of Inappropriate Behaviour

If a student misbehaves on a bus, the bus operator concerned will contact the parents and the school.

  Depending on the gravity of the offence, students may be refused travel on the bus for a period of time determined by the bus operator.

  Heavier penalties may apply to students involved in group misbehaviour.

  School principals have the right to take additional disciplinary action against a student under the school's discipline code or student welfare policy for any breach of the code of conduct.

The bus operator must provide written notification to the parents, guardians or carers before a student's school bus travel privileges can be withdrawn.

What to do if you disagree

If parents, guardians or carers don't agree with a decision, they should contact the bus operator. If they are still not satisfied, they can contact the DIER.

Categories of Inappropriate Behaviour

To promote consistency and fairness in responding to breaches of the Code of Conduct, inappropriate behaviour has been divided into three categories.

Category 1 – Unacceptable behaviour

 

This category includes minor offences, but is not limited to behaviour that may be irritating or unpleasant. Examples include:

  distracting the driver by persistent noise or calling out to the driver

  eating or drinking (other than water) on the bus, unless for medical reasons or with the permission of the bus operator

  smoking

  spitting

  using offensive or racist language

  minor bullying, intimidation and harassment of other passengers

  pressing the stop button continually

  damaging property

  window etching

  behaving so as to adversely affect the comfort or safety of other passengers (e.g. not giving up seats to any adults and disabled passengers).


 

Category 2 – Dangerous behaviour

 

This category includes more serious offences, but is not limited to behaviour that may cause an element of danger to individuals. Examples include:

  serious bullying and harassment of other passengers.

  allowing any part of their body to protrude from the bus while the bus is in motion.

  stopping others from disembarking at their stop.

  verbally threatening the driver.

  standing on steps or in areas not set aside for standing and refusing to sit down.

  pushing and shoving when boarding or exiting the bus.

  swinging on bus handrails.

  throwing things inside or out of the bus.

  fighting with other passengers.

  causing significant damage to property in buses.

  using matches/lighters.

  carrying dangerous items.

  group misbehaviour.

Category 3 – Highly dangerous or life threatening behaviour

 

This category includes major offences, but is not limited to highly dangerous behaviour. Examples include:

  pushing students out of the doors or windows.

  interfering with the driving controls or the emergency door release.

  assaulting the driver or other passengers.

  interfering with safety equipment.

  recklessly or negligently endangering the safety of other passengers or themselves.

  destruction of bus property.

If appropriate, the bus driver should report any incident involving highly dangerous or life threatening behaviour to the police.

The list of examples above is not intended to be exhaustive, but should be used as a guide in relation to management of behaviour on buses.


PASSENGER BEHAVIOUR MANAGEMENT POLICY PROCEDURES

CATEGORY 1 – OFFENSIVE BEHAVIOUR BY A STUDENT

 

Offensive behaviour by a student involves distracting the driver, annoying or irritating other passengers, littering or otherwise increasing the task of cleaning the interior of the vehicle, or otherwise reducing the amenity of the trip. This includes issues of teasing, verbal bullying, victimisation, inappropriate language, courtesy and politeness, refusal to obey an instruction, or failure to observe any vehicle specific rules (such as occupancy of specific seats) as may be included in site specific locally defined codes of behaviour.

First Incident  

  Where there may be some offensive behaviour by a student

         
Bus Driver    

  Verbal warning.   One or more verbal warnings may be given at the discretion of the driver. Warnings should be specific.

         
Bus Driver/Operator  

  Written warning issued at conclusion of trip before student leaves bus.

  Record student’s name, date and details of incident.

  Copy to student, school, parent/guardian, operator records.

  Reminds student of consequences of repeated offences.

  Minor disciplinary action (student required to sit in designated seat.

     
           
No further incidents  

Repeated incident

within 4 school weeks

 
           
No further action   Bus Driver / Operator  

  Written warning.

  Record student’s name, date and details of incident.

  Copy to student, school, parent/guardian, operator records.

  Minor disciplinary action (student required to sit in designated seat.

   
         
    Bus Operator  

  Operator may meet with School Principal or nominee and parent/guardian to discuss alternative strategies.

 
         
    Repeated incident within 10 school weeks    
         
    Bus Driver  

  Records student’s name, date and details of incident to be retained for bus operator’s records.

  Advises student that matter is to be reported to the bus operator.

 
         
    Bus Operator  

  Within 2 days driver fills out report to operator.

  Copy circulated to school and parent/guardian.

  Operator advises Principal or nominee and parent/guardian of proposed action.

  Suspension to be 5 days maximum.

  Parent has 24 hours to lodge an appeal before suspension commences.

  If appeal lodged Committee has 48 hours from notification to consider and decide on appeal.

 
                         

                                                                                                               

PASSENGER BEHAVIOUR MANAGEMENT POLICY PROCEDURES

CATEGORY 2 – DANGEROUS AND/OR DESTRUCTIVE BEHAVIOUR BY A STUDENT

 

Dangerous and/or destructive behaviour involves direct risk of injury or the destruction of property. This includes issues of fighting or wrestling, physical bullying or harassment, pushing or shoving while boarding or exiting the bus, throwing objects inside or from the vehicle, obstructing doors, aisles or emergency exits, extending any part of the body from the vehicle while it is in motion, vandalising or damaging any part of the vehicle or the property of other passengers or failure to observe any vehicle specific rules (such as misuse of emergency window tools) as may be included in site specific locally defined codes of behaviour.

First Incident  

  Where there may be some physical danger to individuals

         
Bus Driver    

  Record student’s name, date, details of incident and action taken.

  Advises at the completion of journey on which the dangerous behaviour occurred, incident will be reported to the school.

  Driver reports details to school Principal or nominee as soon as possible.

  Driver reports details to bus operator immediately.

 
         
Bus Operator  

  Immediate 5 day non-appealable suspension will commence with effect from the first school bound journey after receipt of notice.

  Suspension notice circulated to school and parent.

  During first 4 days of suspension Committee must meet and decide on further action.

  Within 24 hours of notification of further action parent may lodge an appeal to the Department of Infrastructure, Energy and Resources.

  If appeal lodged against further action, further action is stayed until the appeal is heard.

  Department must review decision within 10 working days.

  Suspension to be a maximum of 4 weeks.

     
     
     
2nd and subsequent offences with the same school year
         
Bus Driver  

  Record student’s name, date, details of incident and action taken.

  Advises at the completion of journey on which the dangerous behaviour occurred, incident will be reported to the school.

  Driver reports details to school Principal or nominee as soon as possible.

  Driver reports details to bus operator immediately.

Bus Operator  

  Immediate 5 day non-appealable suspension will commence.

  Suspension notice circulated to school and parent.

  During first 4 days of suspension Committee must meet and decide on further action.   Maximum 10 weeks.

  Within 24 hours of notification of further action parent may lodge an appeal to the Department of Infrastructure, Energy and Resources.

  If appeal lodged against further action, further action is stayed until the appeal is heard.

  Department must review decision within 10 working days.

 


PASSENGER BEHAVIOUR MANAGEMENT POLICY PROCEDURES

CATEGORY 3 – LIFE THREATENTING BEHAVIOUR BY A STUDENT

 

Life threatening behaviour involves actual injury or direct risk of loss of life. This includes pushing another student through a door or window while the vehicle is in motion, interfering with the driving controls or emergency door release, assaulting the driver while the vehicle is in motion, or recklessly or negligently endangering themselves or others

First Incident  

  Highly dangerous behaviour

         
Bus Driver    

  Takes all reasonable measures to ensure the safety of passengers in line with emergency management plan

  In an extreme emergency, contact Police by way of telephone or radio and follow Police instructions

  Report matter to bus operator immediately

  Records student’s name, date details of incident and action taken to be retained for bus operator’s records

  Advise student that the matter is to be reported to the bus operator

 
         
Bus Operator  

  Immediately advises parents / school that parents must make alternative arrangements for the offending student’s travel

  Liaise with school principal to ensure the welfare of other students

  Within 24 hours forward completed Contract School Bus Incident Report to the Department of Infrastructure, Energy and Resources (DIER) by facsimile on 6233 5377.

     
         
Department  

  Within 5 school days advises parent / operator / school of any further penalty up to and including permanent withdrawal of access to student transport services

  Parent has 24 hours to lodge an appeal to the Commissioner for Transport. Suspension will continue until confirmed or revoked by the Commission

 
     

Note :

Where a student has been permanently refused travel on a bus and there is a subsequent change in behavioural circumstances the parent may request that the decision be reviewed by the Department, in consultation with the operator. The Department may uphold the original decision or may impose special conditions on the student’s return to travel on the bus.

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