CINCINNATI – School buses are the safest form of transportation for traveling to and from school. However, students face an increasing danger when entering and exiting the bus, which is why First Student is joining the National Association of Pupil Transportation (NAPT) in raising awareness for National School Bus Safety Week, October 21 to 25. First Student and NAPT want to remind both students and motorists of the importance of being alert around school buses.
Students are urged to “Stand Back from the Yellow and Black” during this year's School Bus Safety Week. It is crucial for all students to remain aware of where they are in relation to the school bus, and to be careful to stay in the bus driver's line of sight when entering or exiting the bus. Students can do this by:
Staying 12 giant steps away from the outside of the bus.
Waiting for the bus to stop completely before getting on or off.
Not picking up any items they may have dropped near the bus. The driver may not see them. Instead, ask the driver for help.
Waiting until the driver signals it's OK to cross the street in front of the bus.
Staying away from the bus wheels at all times – especially the back wheels where it's hard for the driver to see.
With the increase in mobile technology, students and motorists can easily become distracted. The few seconds it takes to talk on a cell phone, text or change songs can take a student's focus off of walking safely to the bus stop or cause a motorist to not see a bus' important safety features, such as stop arms and warning lights.
“Everyone in the community plays a crucial role in ensuring students travel to and from school safely each day,” said Gary Catapano, senior vice president of safety for First Student. “Our drivers take tremendous care when transporting students, but students and motorists must also remain alert and avoid distractions to ensure school transportation is as safe as possible.”
School buses are designed for safety inside and out. In fact, school buses are approximately 13 times safer than passenger cars and 10 times safer than walking or biking to school, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
First Student transports six million students to and from school each day. The company's core values of safety, commitment to customers, setting the highest standards, and support among locations are clearly demonstrated through the company's regular investments in its fleet, implementation of leading edge technologies, and enactment of stringent safety policies.