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Jun 30, 2014, 08:11 AM

Please Put Away the Cell Phones, We Want to ‘See You In September’

There’s a sweet old song about school letting out for the summer made popular by a group called The Happenings.  Some of the lyrics go like this:

See you in September
See you when the summer's through
…. Summer vacation is taking you away.

That’s how we feel about the six million students we transport to and from school every day.

We want each and every one of our riders to come back to us safely when the new school year starts.

Summer is a time for weekend getaway drives, family vacation road trips and countless other fun, exciting reasons for car travel.

So we’re asking all students, parents, brothers, sisters and caregivers to please take this advice:

  • Buckle up
  • Don’t drink and drive or ride with people who do
  • Check your tires

And above all this summer, put away the cell phones and electronic devices. Help put an end to distracted driving.

No less than 3,300 people were killed in the United States in 2012 in accidents where distracted driving was a factor. Another 421,000 were injured.

According to federal government safety experts, there are 660,000 U.S. drivers using cell phones or other devices at any given moment of the day.

Here’s a key number for our young folks – 10 percent of all drivers under the age of 20 who were involved in fatal accidents were distracted at the time of crashes.

Moreover, people in their 20s comprise one quarter of distracted drivers in fatal accidents.

Clearly, distracted driving remains a serious problem. That’s why First Student is proud every year to join with the National Safety Council (NSC) to recognize April as Distracted Driving Awareness Month.

First Student led the industry in 2008 when it issued a company-wide policy prohibiting all employees or contractors on company business from using a mobile device, either hand-held or hands-free, while driving.

Employees are instructed to pull over at a safe location and turn off their engine before making a call or sending a text.

Here’s one more lyric from The Happening’s hit song:

Have a good time but remember
There is danger in the summer moon above.

Remember to enhance your safety by avoiding distractions while driving.