The Safety of the School Bus

The third week in October is School Bus Safety Week. As we all know, it’s a great time in the industry to take a second look at your passenger safety training, and it’s a great opportunity to recognize the hard work drivers undertake every day to keep all children safe.

Many localities across the country hold events to recognize this week and if you aren’t already doing so, please consider it. Every opportunity to reinforce safety is time well spent.

School Bus Safety Week is also a great time to remind motorists that if a school bus is stopped on an undivided road, its lights are flashing and the stop arm is out, every vehicle must stop regardless of whether you are behind the bus or in the opposite lane of traffic. If the road is divided, only those behind the school bus must stop, but all drivers should always be aware of the school bus and its function within the community—to carry children to and from school safely.

This seems rather simple and basic, but thousands of motorists every year drive around stopped school buses despite the great risk to the children getting on and off the bus.

This should be easy—if the bus is stopped, so are you. If it were your child on that bus you would want every vehicle to stop until your child was safely in your care.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), travel by school bus is 70 times safer than travel by any other mode of transportation—70 times safer! Passengers are incredibly safe within the school bus, but it is the area around the bus that presents the greatest challenges. Ensuring the safety around the bus is a group effort.

It takes much more than the driver and the child. It also takes the parents and caregivers at the bus stop and the motoring public to ensure that all children are safe as they get on and off the bus. Children should receive no less.

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. is the executive director of the National School Transportation Assocation that represents the interests of private school bus contractors across North America.

Last modified onWednesday, 21 September 2016 12:06