The school bus is the safest vehicle on the road…your child is much safer taking a bus to and from school than traveling by car. Although four to six school age children die each year in school transportation vehicles, that’s less than one percent of all traffic fatalities nationwide. Students are about 70 times more likely to get to school safely when taking a school bus instead of traveling by car. NHTSA- (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) believes school buses should be as safe as possible. That’s why their safety standards for school buses are above and beyond those for regular buses.

School buses are different by design. They are designed so that they’re highly visible and include safety featues such as flashing red lights, cross-view mirrors and stop sign arms. They also include protective seating, high crush standards and rollover protection features. Laws protect students who are getting off and on a school bus by making it illegal for drivers to pass a school bus while dropping off or picking up passengers, regardless of the direction of approach.

Seat belts have been required on passenger cars since 1968, and 49 states and the District of Columbia have enacted laws requiring the use of seat belts in passenger cars and light trucks. There is no question that seat belts play an important role in keeping passengers safe in these vehichles. But school buses are different by design, including a different kind of safety restraint system that works extremely well.

Large school buses are heavier and distribute crash forces differently than passenger cars and light trucks do. Because of these differences, bus passengers experience much less crash force than those is passenger cars, light trucks and vans.

NHTSA decided the best way to provide crash protection to passengers of large school buses is through a concept called “compartmentalization”. This requires that the interior of large buses protect children without them needing to buckle up. Through compartmentalization, children are protected from crashes by strong, closely-spaced seats that have energy-absorbing seat backs.

BUS STOP SAFETY
The greatest risk to your child is not riding a bus, but approaching or leaving a bus stop. Before your child rides the bus for the first time, it is important for you and your child to know traffic safety rules. The following guidelines are very helpful in keeping your child safe.
FOR OUR PARENTS:
Safety starts at the bus stop
Your child should arrive at the bus stop at least five minutes before the bus is scheduled to arrive. Visit the bus stop and show your child where to wait for the bus: at least three giant steps (six feet) away from the curb. Remind your child that the bus stop in not a place to run or play.
When the school bus arrives, your child should wait until the bus comes to a complete stop, the door opens, and the driver says it’s okay before approaching the bus door. Your child should use the handrails to avoid falling.
USE CAUTION AROUND THE BUS
Your child should never walk behind a school bus. If your child must cross the street in front of the bus, tell him/her to walk on a sidewalk or along the side of the street/road to a place at least five giant steps (ten feet) in front of the bus before crossing. Your child should make eye contact with the bus driver before crossing to make sure the driver can see him/her. If your child drops something near the school bus, your child should tell the bus driver right away. Your child should never try to pick up the item, as the driver may not see him/her.

PARENTS, PLEASE CALL US AT 897-1121 WITH ANY CHANGES IN YOUR CHILD’S BUS SCHEDULE DURING THE YEAR SUCH AS DAYCARE CHANGES, ETC. AND WE WILL BE HAPPY TO HELP YOU. YOU MAY ALSO EMAIL US AT ANY TIME WITH ANY QUESTIONS OR CONCERNS. EMAIL: Transportation Director Jim Shink at jshink@rsu73.com or Admin. Asst. Shawn Keene at skeene@rsu73.com THANK YOU!

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