A Better View: School Bus Mirror Adjustment Procedures


Overview



The Danger Zone

Blind spots are areas where you can't see without the help of mirrors. The collective blind spot surrounding the bus is called “the danger zone.”

Danger zone: area of blind spots around a school bus where you can't see without the help of mirrors


The Mirrors1

The safety standard for mirrors on school buses requires three sets of mirrors:

  • The cross-over (or cross-view) mirrors (a)
  • The side convex mirrors (b)
  • The side flat mirrors (c)

School bus drivers must know how to adjust these systems of mirrors so that they work properly, providing a continuous and complete field of view.

School Bus Mirror Locations

1 The combination of these mirrors is also referred to as System A and B mirrors. System A includes the side flat and side convex mirrors. System B includes the cross-over (or cross-view) mirrors. The requirements for these mirror systems were introduced in 1998.



The Cylinders

It's one thing to know the view that the mirrors should provide. It's another to be sure that they are providing it. To test your field of view, you need to use five cylinders2.  

Required height of cylinders in metres and feet

2 You may use any object of similar dimensions to replace the cylinders, such as traffic cones, garbage pails, etc.



The Mirror Adjustment Procedures

When adjusting your mirrors, sit in your normal driving position, with your seat properly adjusted and your seat belt buckled.
 

Cylinder Placement

  • Place cylinder A in front of the bus so that its top is directly visible at the driver's eye position.
     
  • Place cylinders D and E two metres outward from the side of the bus along the centreline of the bus
    rear-wheel axle.
     
  • Place cylinders B and C two metres outward aligned with the front bumper, and reposition them rearward, as shown in the diagram, when the side convex mirror is adjusted.
Placement of cylinders around a school bus

Adjustment of (Driver's Side) Cross-Over Mirror and Side Convex Mirror

  • Adjust the cross-over mirror so you can see the front bumper and all of cylinder A on the right side of the reflecting surface, with the horizon kept to a minimum. For the curbside cross-over mirror, cylinder A is on the left.
     
  • Adjust the side convex mirror horizontally so that the side of the bus is barely visible on the right side of the reflecting surface. For the curbside side convex mirror, the bus is visible on the left.
     
  • Adjust vertically (tilt up & down) to optimize the view to the side of the bus. Cylinder E should be entirely visible and the horizon should not be visible. For the curbside side convex mirror, cylinder D should be visible.
     
  • Move cylinder C rearward along a two-metre distance parallel to the side of the bus until it's entirely visible in the side convex mirror. For the curbside side convex mirror, cylinder B is used.
     
  • If necessary, re-adjust the cross-over mirrors to ensure that cylinder C is visible. For the curbside cross-over mirror, cylinder B is used.

Field of view
using the school bus mirrors

Field of view around a school bus using mirrors

Adjustment of (Driver's Side) Side Flat Mirror

  • Adjust the side flat mirror so that the side of the bus is barely visible on the right side of the reflecting surface.  For the curbside side flat mirror, the bus is on the left.
     
  • Adjust vertically (tilt up & down) to optimize the field of view to the side of the bus and to minimize the horizon.


Conclusion

Always take the time to actually LOOK at the reflected image in the mirror...take the time to SEE what's there.

Follow proper school bus mirror adjustment procedures and have…
A Better View

Reflected view of school bus