MACEDONIA, Ohio — In response to a dramatic increase in pedestrian child fatalities around school buses during the 2008/2009 school year, The Public School Risk Institute, The National Association for Pupil Transportation, The School Bus Safety Company and 247 Security Inc. have announced a cooperative endeavor to offer a comprehensive Danger Zones training program free of charge to school districts nationwide.
School Bus Safety Company executive Jeff Cassell said, “As members of an industry committed to safety excellence, we are devastated by this sudden increase in deaths. This situation demands our immediate attention.”
Cassell explained that most of the 17 children were killed by their own school bus as they stepped in front of it, or fell under the rear wheels as they chased after it. Other children were killed when drivers failed to heed the flashing lights and did not stop for the bus.
The Danger Zones program is just one of many titles in the comprehensive Driver Training Course, which is an NAPT recommended product1. The Danger Zones program features a 20-minute DVD, Trainer’s Guide and a Driver Handout, and covers every aspect of how drivers should behave to ensure that the danger zones are kept clear as well as how to prevent danger zone accidents.
“If you take for granted safety in and around the areas immediately outside the bus, you are asking for trouble”, said Mike Martin, executive director of the National Association for Pupil Transportation. “It’s called the ‘danger zone’ for a reason.”
Noting the spike in fatalities last year as evidence, Martin said, “We must redouble our efforts to ensure school bus drivers are well trained and on guard, which will save lives. Every school district in America should take advantage of the unique opportunity to obtain a copy of this training program – and then use it.”
247 Security Inc Vice President Rob Scott added “Our industry is the safest mode of ground transportation there is and has a great track record of never being satisfied, always trying to improve on our safety record. Our Danger Zones Training Program is provided to help us improve training, safety and awareness.”
Everyone involved in the safety equation has an important role to play, Lee Gaby, the Executive Director of The Public School Risk Institute explained. “All motorists need to obey the law when they encounter a stopped bus, parents should remind their children to never run after a bus, to stay out of the danger zones and to look both ways before crossing the street. And most importantly, school bus drivers must be trained to have the knowledge and skills needed to prevent these tragedies.” We all agree that a student fatality is unacceptable. “We can work together to keep them from happening,” he said.
To obtain a free copy of the training program, go to www.schoolbussafetyco.com.
For more information, please contact Janet Greer at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Public School Risk Institute is a nonprofit association that promotes research, innovation and exchange of information concerning risk management in public schools. The National Association for Pupil Transportation is a nonprofit organization that provides a variety of education and information services to school transportation professionals in the United States and Canada. The School Bus Safety Company is the leading provider of school bus safety education and training materials to the 14,000 school districts in North America. 247 Security provides on-board video monitoring equipment and services to enhance school bus safety and security.