Yesterday New London Local Schools and surrounding districts kicked off National School Bus Safety Week. The national theme this year is based on a child’s statement: “My school bus, the safest form of student transportation.”
We all should remember that when everyone does their part
(school bus drivers, parents, students, and surrounding motorists) that there
is no safer place for a student than on the school bus. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
(NHTSA) tells us that students are about 70 times more likely to get to schoo0l
safely when taking a school bus instead of travelling by car.
That is because school buses are the most regulated vehicles
on the road; they are designed to be safer than passenger vehicles in preventing
crashes and injuries; and in every state, stop-arm laws protect children from
The big yellow school bus has become an institution in our
country, with children and families benefiting from the safe transportation
service accomplished with these vehicles and the staff that operate them. Often, we take for granted the benefit of
this service, even while school and transportation staff continue to focus on
maximizing safety and efficiency.
Ensuring the safety of our students is crucial. We are
training our bus drivers to be cautious, but we need help from parents to make sure
children remain alert and mindful of good safety practices when walking to
their bus stop or to school. We also ask other motorists to be extra vigilant
around school buses, observing traffic laws requiring them to stop for school
buses that are loading or unloading and to watch for children who may be
crossing the road.
Our district transportation staff offers the following tips
to remind your child while getting on and off the bus:
- Get to
the bus stop in plenty of time
at your driver designated place of safety
10 giant steps away from the bus when unloading
- Always follow the driver’s directions for how to cross the street
alert to traffic and look both ways
- If you
must cross the street, always cross in front of the bus.
We recognize that school bus transportation is a
partnership. Students, parents, bus drivers, school staff and motorists all have
to work together to keep our children safe.
Bus drivers help to keep children safe in a number of ways:
- Drivers watch surrounding
traffic closely to keep school children safe
- Drivers do their best to
follow scheduled routes and times to provide regular and dependable
- Drivers will help teach
their riders safe riding practices.
Students need to know and respect the following:
- Students need to follow the bus driver’s instructions
- Students should know and
remember the safe riding rules
- Wait for their bus at
designated stops, standing at their driver-designated place of safety
- Move quickly to their
assigned seat when boarding the bus
- Remain seated after
boarding the bus
- Respect other riders on
- Talk to their bus driver
if they have a question or concern.
Here are some ways that parents can help:
- Review the safe riding
rules with their children. Help
them to understand why each rule is important
- Dress children in light
colored clothing or jackets on dark mornings
- Help children to be ready
at their stop before the bus arrives
- Take turns supervising bus
stops for smaller children
- Do not allow children to
wear items that may get caught in handrails, in doors, and on seats. Items such as drawstrings, dangling
straps on book bags, and loose clothing can be particularly dangerous.
Thank you for entrusting the safety of your children to our
transportation department. With your
assistance and support, we will continue to provide safe and effective school
transportation services for the community.