School transportation leader First Student shines a spotlight on school bus safety this back-to-school season through its fifth-annual Safety Dog Bus Tour.
Kicking off August 29 in Racine, Wisconsin, the Safety Dog Bus Tour will travel to 12 locations across North America to reinforce safe school bus behavior.
“Student safety is at the heart of everything we do,” said First Student Chief Operating Officer and Interim President Paul Osland. “The Safety Dog Bus Tour teaches students appropriate school bus behavior at the start of the school year. We make it fun, interactive and most importantly, memorable.”
During Safety Dog Bus Tour events, students can see firsthand how a First Student bus is designed for safety inside and out; “Walk the Yellow Carpet” and pose for a photo with Safety Dog, First Student’s safety mascot; sign a safety pledge and leave with a “doggie bag” full of Safety Dog goodies.
This year’s Tour stops include:
- Chatham-Kent Lambton Administrative School Services: Chatham, Ontario, Canada
- Exeter Region Cooperative School District – SAU 16: Exeter, N.H.
- Fairbanks North Star Borough School District: Fairbanks, Alaska
- Gresham-Barlow School District: Gresham, Ore.
- Hamilton County Schools: Chattanooga, Tenn.
- Jefferson City Public Schools: Jefferson City, Mo.
- Lewisville Independent School District: Lewisville, Texas
- McLean County Unit District 5: Normal, Ill.
- Osseo Area Schools, ISD 279: Maple Grove, Minn.
- Racine Unified School District: Racine, Wisc.
- Wichita Public Schools: Wichita, Kans.
- William Penn School District: Lansdowne, Penn.
The Tour also aims to remind motorists that they, too, have an essential role in keeping bus riders safe by obeying stop arm safety laws. A recent survey suggests there could be more than 17 million illegal stop-arm passes during a school year.
Since 2015, there have been 33 stops on the Safety Dog Bus Tour. In total, more than 29,000 guests have visited a stop, and more than 11,000 students signed a safety pledge.
Tour dates, times, locations, safety tips and downloadable activities for students and parents are available at safetydogbustour.com. Safety tips and tour updates also can be found by following First Student on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram as well as the #SafetyDogBusTour hashtag.
Riding a bus is the safest way for children to get to and from school. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, school buses are approximately 70 times safer than passenger cars and 10 times safer than walking.
About First Student, Inc.
As the leading school transportation solutions provider in North America, First Student provides the best start and finish to every school day. First Student completes five million student journeys each day, moving more passengers than all U.S. airlines combined. With a team of highly-trained drivers and the industry’s strongest safety record, First Student delivers reliable, quality services including full-service transportation and management, special-needs transportation, route optimization and scheduling, maintenance and charter services for 1,100 school district contracts. For more information, please visit firststudentinc.com.