Safety is Our Top Priority

Safety is one of our core values, and nothing is more important than the safety of our passengers. Our mission is getting students to school safely, on time and ready to learn®, and we’ve been doing that for more than 100 years.
We are part of an elite group of student transportation providers that equips their buses with a total of 13 Zonar® zones, three of which are dedicated to child checks, to ensure every child has exited the bus safely.
Our Safety Programs

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Suite of Safety Technology Products and Services

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Daily and Preventive Maintenance

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Our Safety Programs

Driving Out Harm is our principal safety program. It aims to educate our customers, employees and the communities we serve on how important it is to drive out all potential risks that could lead to the harm of our passengers and fellow motorists. We are all leaders in safety at National Express School, and have a personal commitment to the safety of our workforce and vehicles on the road. Through our 12 Global Standards, we proudly adhere to all national and local requirements, maintain an exceptional level of management and supervision, and enforce health and safety policies. Our program not only set us apart from all other providers, but also equips us to meet and exceed your district’s needs by providing excellence at every turn.

  • Competence and Fitness of Bus Drivers
  • Competence and Fitness of Maintenance Staff
  • Competence and Fitness of Other Staff Personnel
  • Drug and Alcohol Screening
  • Safety of Vehicles
  • Safety of Premises
  • Risk Assessment
  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
  • Accident and Incident Investigation
  • Incident Response and Management
  • Safety Audit and Management Checks
  • Safety Validation of Change

Suite of Safety Technology Products & Services

Petermann/National Express School has been a student transportation provider for more than 100 years. Our experience has led us to become an industry leader, capable of offering our customers an unmatched level of service. Our transportation services incorporate a wide range of tools including the latest, and we feel most effective, safety monitoring tools and equipment today, because student safety is our priority. Some examples include:

Lytx DriveCam®

All of our vehicles are being equipped with DriveCam® technology. DriveCam is a video-based driver safety program that identifies, prioritizes and helps prevent the causes of coachable driving situations and enables us to address concerns and encourage safe driving behavior.


BusReport™ is a proprietary cloud-based feedback tool operated by National Express School and available to our customers, parents and members of the community to provide us real-time feedback regarding our service. To file a report regarding a driver or bus, please visit: or call: 1-833-BUSREPORT.


Our drivers use Electronic Verified Inspection Reporting (EVIR®) by Zonar® to complete pre and post-trip inspections of the buses we operate. Each zone must be checked before and after each route. During the inspection, the zone’s information is automatically uploaded to Zonar through a ground traffic control application and alerts operations if an inspection is incomplete.

We are part of an elite group of student transportation providers that equips their buses with a total of 13 Zonar zones, three of which are dedicated to child checks, to ensure every child has exited the bus safely.

Child Checks

Our Child Check System is dedicated to ensuring that students are transported to and from school safely. We require drivers to thoroughly check a bus at the end of each route and prior to leaving the bus to make sure that every child has exited from the bus.

Our Child Check policy requires a slow, deliberate walk from the front of the bus to the back, checking for children in and under every seat. We have a zero tolerance policy, and failure to follow this policy, even if a child was not left unattended, will lead to disciplinary action. In addition, drivers may place a Child Check sign in the center back window to indicate that the bus has been checked and is empty. The driver is the only person who may display or remove this sign and they take this responsibility very seriously.

Petermann Bus Tracker®

Petermann is proud to offer our proprietary mobile app for tracking your students’ buses in near real time. If your district is using compatible routing software, we offer parents and guardians access to our free mobile app, available to download through the App Store and Google Play.

Employee Hiring and Evaluation

We have high expectations for our employees and look for the best to serve your district. Our corporate recruitment team will partner with our local operations to develop a comprehensive staffing campaign, including appropriate print and online advertising, promotions with local vendors, and various other techniques customized for your community. Working closely with the local management team, we use a variety of recruitment techniques to attract employees from your local area and incorporate an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) to hire all driver, monitor, maintenance and office staff employees. This system allows us to apply a consistent hiring process that complies with all employment legislation. The ATS also allows us to evaluate our hiring effectiveness and provides us with key metrics to ensure we continually improve our overall recruiting efforts.

After an employee is selected for employment we use a third party vendor, an industry-leading hiring process management and compliance company, to ensure the background checks, drug testing, Department of Transportation (DOT) checks, physicals, driving records and other mandated background information is thoroughly screened to ensure our company acquires the most qualified candidates.

Safety Recognition

Our employees have the responsibility to ensure their environment is safe for themselves and for the safety of the children they transport. We take injury prevention very seriously, and we administer a thorough training program for new employees, as well as ongoing training through monthly safety meetings. We maintain each employee’s focus on safety through printed materials, daily safety messages and awareness campaigns.

Recognizing employees for safe performance is an honor and privilege. Employees with accident-free records are acknowledged through our safety recognition program. We reward drivers and monitors with certificates, pins and annual award ceremonies for safe performance.

Daily & Preventive Maintenance

We are industry leaders when it comes to maintaining our buses to ensure passenger safety. Our safety begins with safe vehicles. Our 13-touchpoint pre and post-trip inspection is industry-leading. We monitor both vehicle maintenance and perform diligent child checks using state-of-the-art Zonar® technology.

Our school district partners benefit from our nationally recognized preventive maintenance program. Our industry-leading preventive maintenance schedule goes above and beyond government requirements. Every school day, our drivers do a multi-point inspection before and after each route to check for maintenance issues that need immediate attention. In addition, all buses are subject to comprehensive preventive maintenance inspections at least three times a year. This is above and beyond government requirements. All inspections include examining everything from cosmetic issues to checking tires, brakes, engine performance and suspension.

Vehicles are maintained in accordance with manufacturer recommendations and requirements. Our preventive maintenance program meets and exceeds state and federal inspection requirements. In addition, we follow our company’s preventive maintenance program:

  • No bus leaves the lot to pick up students without the driver having first completed a multi-point, pre-trip inspection that documents any safety or maintenance issue—no matter how small—and clears the bus for travel. Critical issues are reported to our service center where a team of skilled mechanics is dispatched to make repairs.
  • Many of our buses are equipped with technology that constantly monitors the vehicle’s operating condition, sending real-time data back to our dispatchers who ensure that no critical issues put the safe operating condition of the bus at risk.
  • Our drivers have the freedom to escalate any maintenance issue to a critical level—providing a check-and-balance to ensure that no bus takes to the road with an issue that could lead to a breakdown or inconvenience student passengers.

Each of our buses is scheduled for a regular preventive maintenance inspection according to hours of operation, miles traveled, or days operated, depending on the type of operation and service being provided.

Experience the Durham Difference

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