Dec 02, 2011

First Student Prepared for Winter Weather, Offers Defensive Driving Tips to Motorists

CINCINNATI — Winter officially arrives in December, which can mean dangerous driving conditions. First Student, Inc., the largest provider of school transportation in North America, is ready to safely and securely transport children to school.

 First Student school bus drivers participate in a comprehensive training program which includes preparation for driving in inclement weather and adverse conditions. Each First Student bus undergoes a monthly maintenance review and yearly examination to ensure it is functioning at optimal safety and service standards. Drivers also conduct a pre-trip bus inspection every day before they begin their routes. First Student buses are designed to provide maximum safety every day, even in extreme weather conditions. 

In fact, school buses are the safest way to get to and from school; nearly 13 times safer than walking to school and as much as 10 times safer than traveling in a passenger vehicle, according to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. 

First Student urges motorists who share the road with school buses to use extra precaution in snow and ice. Motorists should allow plenty of room to stop when approaching or following a school bus as they make frequent stops loading and unloading students. Laws in all states require motorists to stop when the school bus stop arm is extended and red lights are flashing. 

 First Student provides these additional winter weather school bus safety tips:

  • Students who walk to or wait at school bus stops should dress appropriately for winter weather. Proper outerwear includes warm coats, gloves, hats and waterproof footwear. Passengers should not wear clothes with toggles or dangling key chains as they can get caught in the bus doors or on the handrail.
  • Stay alert! Hoodies, headphones and portable electronic devices can distract students from paying attention to surrounding traffic. 
  • Students should never run after the bus. Plan ahead and allow sufficient time to get to the bus stop.
  • Passengers should wait for the bus to stop completely before approaching the bus to get on or before standing up to get off. Always use caution when stepping on or off the bus and at crosswalks.
  • Parents and students should check with their school, school district, or emergency closing alert system for any schedule delays or cancellations. Information can generally be found on school websites, and many districts use a phone alert system to announce changes to school or bus schedules. School delays or closings may occur when officials determine that weather conditions are too severe to ensure safe travel to and from school.