From Ann Rugg, Transportation Supervisor at SGI:
October 21st is the beginning of School Bus Safety Week and is also the beginning of Safe Schools Week. Safety, however, cannot be limited to just one week or three bus drills per year. Student safety needs to be a culture of the whole community.
When you hear school bus safety do you think of emergency evacuation drills, well trained bus drivers and attendants, student behavior management or safe crossing drills? Of course, all of those things impact the safety of students, but there is more to it than that. The whole community needs to make student safety a priority.
It is important that bus drivers and attendants encourage safe behavior and respect on their buses. Drivers need to be alert and drive defensively. Parents can help by encouraging students to follow bus rules and safe practices for loading and unloading.
Children should be out and ready 5 minutes before the bus is expected to arrive. If everyone does this, no one should have an exceptionally long wait. If students are not ready and the bus has to wait for even one student to put on their shoes or finish their breakfast, everyone following needs to wait longer. Not a safe situation for anyone on bad weather days. Everyone ready is a step closer to a safety culture that values student safety above all else.
Other motorists in the community play a part in building a culture of student safety. Be alert to what the bus is doing. Yellow lights indicate that the bus is about to stop and red lights mean a bus is already beginning the process of loading or unloading students. State laws dictate that they cannot be used for any other purpose. Your choice to wait instead of trying to pass the bus is a choice to be safe and protect all the students in our community.
Together let us create a strong safety culture here in our SGI community where every student is protected and kept safe by all of us. Stay tuned for more tips to help you enhance our safety culture.
See you at the bus stop!