School Bus Safety

by Jeffrey J. Kroll

September was National School Bus Safety Month. In addition, National School Bus Safety week is held during the third full week of October. National School Bus Safety week is an active and evolving public education program to address the importance of school bus safety. This has been designed to promote bus safety with school districts throughout the country. Yet, it is not enough. With parents, the topic of safety remains top of mind.

According to a recent study from the University of Michigan Health, close to one-third of parents with elementary school aged children reportedly worry about safe passage to and from school for their children. In fact, a national poll on Children’s Health published by the C.S. Children’s Hospital, found that almost 50% of parents indicated that their children walk in an area consisting of a passenger vehicle that is picking up or dropping off in the same area.

Vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death in children and adolescents. Nearly one-third of child pedestrian fatalities occur during the afternoon and evening school commute between the hours of 3 p.m. and 7 p.m.

Yet, it is not solely the responsibility of the school district and school buses for keeping our children safe. According to a survey from the National Association of State Director of Pupil Transportation Services, for many years, school bus drivers reported that over 80,000 vehicles illegally passed their busses. In other words, the burden of school bus safety does not strictly fall on school transportation and the school bus driver. We all need to be vigilant in areas where children are present; especially, in and around school zones.