Update: DRAWSTRINGS AND SCHOOL BUS HANDRAILS
Anne Arundel County Public Schools
Chief Operating Office / Transportation Division
Drawstrings on children's clothing have become snagged in school bus handrails located at the entrance to the school bus. About a half dozen youngsters nationwide have been killed, and more have sustained, serious injury when drawstrings become entangled in the school bus handrail. The problem occurs when the drawstring length permits the child to step to the ground and an area away from the view of the school bus driver. The bus after that departs the stopping area while the locked drawstring causes the youngster to be dragged along the side of or under the school bus.
- Inspect and Modify Handrail Joint Fixtures:
Handrails on school buses have been inspected at regular ail inspections held since the summer of 1995. Future school bus inspections will continue to include a review of this issue. Handrails that may cause a problem have been modified, replaced, and where permissible, removed. In most cases, the remedy increases the space at the bottom of the joint where the handrails attach to the school bus entrance way.
- School Bus Driver Instruction:
All school bus drivers have been advised of this concern and have received appropriate instruction. Drivers have been instructed to be certain that recently discharged passengers have cleared the "danger zone" of the school bus before leaving a bus stop or school unloading zone.
- The Parental Role:
Parents are encouraged to examine drawstrings on currently owned clothing. All drawstrings whether at the neck, waist or thigh levels, have a risk. Drawstrings having buttons at the end of the drawstring are particularly dangerous. Consider this issue when purchasing new clothing. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) suggests that drawstrings be cut or otherwise removed.
Be mindful that drawstring problems are not limited to school bus handrails- Additional problems may be experienced on playground equipment, bicycles, escalators, equipment, carnival rides, and just about anything that moves people.
APA: Sscchhooooll Uuss Ssaaffeettyy Gg Aanndd Pprroocceedduurreess. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.aacps.org/cms/lib/MD02215556/Centricity/Domain/327/bussafety.pdf