Skip to main content
Horizon School Division
Creating a better world, one student at a time.
AP 551 - Operation of School Buses Under Adverse Weather


Primary consideration as to whether the bus will run shall be the safety of the students. In the event that the driver is making the run under what could be considered as “questionable” conditions, it is the responsibility of the parent to make the decision as to whether to send their children on the bus.

Significant care and attention to the following procedures by bus drivers is required when weather presents dangers to safe school bus operations.


1.  The bus driver shall not transport children to school if:

  • The temperature is in excess of minus 40 degrees Celsius; or if
  • The temperature with the wind chill factor is in excess of minus 45 degrees Celsius.

2.  The bus driver, keeping the safety of the students in the forefront, shall use his/her best judgment in determining whether or not to run the bus route under the following conditions:

  • Blizzard conditions;
  • Poor visibility;
  • Fog;
  • Freezing rain; and
  • Other unsafe road conditions

3.  If the condition of the road is such that it may be harmful to the students, driver and/or bus, the drivers are asked to pick up only those students that can be picked up safely. At no time should the bus to go through mud and snow that may be harmful to the driver and passengers, or cause damage to the bus.

4.  Should a driver decide not to run on any particular route, he/she shall make the final decision and not be influenced by the actions of other drivers within the area. However, the safety of the students shall be paramount and will be monitored by the Transportation Department.

5.  Should a storm or other dangerous climatic conditions arise during the day while the students are in school and it is not possible for an end of the school day departure, then students will be billeted. Under no circumstances should buses start on their route in the height of a winter or any storm.

6.  Only in an emergency school closure should buses leave at a time other than regularly designated.

7.  When a bus driver makes the decision not to make the run, then he/she shall do the following:

  • Contact the principal of the school(s) affected;
  • Notify the parents on the route; and
  • Complete the AF-551 Bus Driver Responsibilities-No Bus Run Form and fax it to the Transportation Department upon the next trip to the school.

8.  When a principal receives notification from the bus driver that the route has been cancelled, the principal shall do the following:

  • Contact the sub-division trustee;
  • Notify the Transportation Department by e-mailing the details to These details must include:
  • Date;
  • A.m./p.m. run;
  • Bus driver’s name; and
  • The reason for cancellation.

9.  The Principal may also choose to contact the local radio stations in their area to announce the bus cancellation.

Reference:  Highway Traffic Act
Sections 85, 87, 108, 109, 110, 194, 195, 196, 197, Education Act

February 24, 2012