While there is no substitute for pre-service and in-service training –constant reminders about the need for post-trip inspections are also advisable. To confirm that no one has been left behind in a vehicle after a trip, some transportation programs rely on activation of an “all-clear” device following a walk-through of the van or bus. This Spotlight on Prevention Toolkit includes one low-tech option that may be utilized to confirm a post-trip inspection has been performed.

One example is to place a hangtag in the back of the vehicle and then require that it be returned to the rear-view mirror before the driver exits to ensure a walk-through has been done. The opposite procedure takes place upon entering the bus or van, providing an easy way to confirm that a visual sweep of the interior of the vehicle has taken place. As an alternative, the yellow hangtag could be flipped to the reverse white side to verify the vehicle has been checked.

If a hang tag is not visible on the rear-view mirror of a parked and empty vehicle, it could serve as a visual indicator that the check had not been completed.

Printed attendance sheets for each bus route can also be used to enhance safety. Before the trip, a staff member signs each service recipient onto the bus. Upon arrival at the destination, this list is checked again by a staff person as each service recipient gets off. On the return trip, the list is again updated and signed by a staff member during both boarding and un-boarding of the vehicle. This process ensures that individuals are getting on the right bus, going to the correct school or program, being placed on the correct bus at the end of the day, and returned to the care of an approved caretaker.

Again, placing a hangtag in a conspicuous location can remind transportation and program staff to complete these checks, either using this or another method.

Similarly, posting “Look Before You Leave” hangtags at appropriate building exits may serve as additional reminders to staff to make sure that no service recipient has been forgotten in a vehicle during the transition to another location.

Hangtags can be obtained by contacting the Justice Center at webmaster@justicecenter.ny.gov

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