Glasgow publishes findings of school bus signage research

This study evaluated Glasgow City Council’s enhanced school bus signage pilot. 

Currently UK legislation (the Road Vehicles Lighting (Amendment) Regulations 1994) requires buses and coaches used for journeys to and from school (so-called dedicated school transport) to display signage to indicate it is operating as a school bus.  National Transport Scotland guidance  suggests that local authorities and bus operators use larger, more conspicuous signs than the statutory minimum and that hazard warning lights are activated when pupils are getting on or off the bus. 

Bus signageThere has been concern among some that the statutory minimum sign is insufficient to alert other road users to school transport.  Although the number of school pupils killed or seriously injured while alighting from school buses is low in statistical terms, there have been a number  of such accidents in Scotland in the past, leading to significant public interest in the issue.

In 2008, Aberdeenshire Council decided to progress a number of trials to improve the safety of school bus transport, including the trial of new enhanced  school bus signage. 

Following discussions with Transport Scotland, Glasgow City Council agreed to trial enhanced school transport signage and to explore whether and how the current ‘statutory minimum’ could be enhanced to strengthen its visibility and impact.  Transport Scotland supported the pilot by securing independent evaluation support (provided by ODS Consulting).

This study mainly explored the impact of three different signs:

  • the statutory minimum sign;
  • a large, full width, chevron sign displaying the words ‘school bus’; and
  • a large, square, chevron sign with flashing lights, displaying the words ‘school bus’.

Click here to download the full report.

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