National School Bus Safety Week (Oct. 19–23) Promotes Safety Aspects of Yellow School Bus
By: American School Bus Council
A recently distributed American School Bus Council (ASBC) brochure noted the safety benefits of the school bus:
School Bus Safety Tips in Response to COVID-19
"The yellow school bus epitomizes the gold standard of safety in transporting children to school," says Curt Macysyn, Executive Director of the National School Transportation Association (NSTA). "School buses are the safest way to get to and from school. And even in a COVID-19 world, that remains true. But this year, as we promote the importance of taking an active role in school bus safety, the presence of COVID-19 has required implementing new safety measures to specifically address COVID-19."
In the midst of COVID-19, the school bus industry has been on the forefront of promoting a safe return to school. Student Transportation Aligned for Return to School, or STARTS Task Force—a collaboration of the National Association for Pupil Transportation (NAPT), National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation Services (NASDPTS), National School Transportation Association (NSTA) and school bus manufacturers—
"The task force knows that education starts with transportation, so we continue to work to prepare school districts across the nation for the challenges of in-person school start and operations in 2020–21," said Mike Martin, executive director of NAPT.
While the school bus is and will remain one of the safest ways for students to get to and from school, there are now added precautions that students and school administrators must consider for a safe ride. National School Bus Safety week is a great time to remind students and parents of these extra precautions that individuals in the industry are taking to ensure a safe ride for students.
In addition to these new COVID-19 measures, Charlie Hood, NASDPTS Executive Director, also encourages the public to treat students as pedestrians to help keep them safe while traveling to school. He noted that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has designated October as National Pedestrian Safety Month and encourages motorists to be aware of students by following slower speed limits in school zones and in neighborhoods where children are present.
"Knowing when to stop for a bus if you are a driver and how to approach and leave the bus if you are a passenger is imperative,"
National School Bus Safety Week Poster Content
Annually, ASBC encourages students to enter its poster contest to help artistically represent the safety theme through a child's eyes. Thousands of school districts in more than 40 states participate in local- and state-level competitions. The winning posters are used to promote safer school transportation for everyone. State winners advance to the national contest.
"Red Lights Mean STOP!" is the 2019/2020 School Bus Safety Week theme. The theme highlights the importance of motorists knowing when to stop for a school bus that is picking up children. Annually, the National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation Services (NASDPTS) conducts a one-day study of illegal school bus passing incidents throughout the U.S. In 2018, school bus drivers in 38 states recorded 83,944 incidents during that one-day count, suggesting that as many as 15 million vehicles could be illegally passing school buses and their students each 180-day school year.
In 2019, a poster drawn by Bryan Torres-Tavarez, a 12th grader at Stars Academy in Paterson, NJ, was chosen to promote the "Red Means STOP!" theme. As the overall winner, Torres-Tavarez received a $500 check, and 54,000 copies of his poster have been printed and distributed across the nation to schools and other locations to promote bus safety.
ASBC and the industry is already looking toward next year's National School Bus Safety week when the theme will be "Be Safe–Know the Danger Zone." Posters can be drawn anytime between September 2020 and February 12, 2021. The posters must be submitted to state directors by January 1, 2021 or the designated individual state deadline.
For information on the Danger Zone or to download material, please check out American School Bus Council's flyers and animated video on the Danger Zone at http://schoolbusfacts.com/
Each participating U.S. state, Canadian province, or overseas U.S. military installation may submit one (only first-place winners) winning poster to ASBC in each of the following categories:
Prizes will be awarded for each division as follows:
Poster winners will be notified, and prizes will be sent in May 2021. The 1st Place/Overall winning poster will be used to promote National School Bus Safety Week for 2021.
For information on the poster contest or to obtain copies, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
COVID-19 Safety Tips
COVID-19 Safety Flyer
School Bus Safety Tips
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ASBC is a coalition of public and private transportation providers, school bus manufacturers and state officials responsible for pupil transportation. The Council's members include NAPT (National Association for Pupil Transportation)
Charlie Hood, NASDPTS Executive Director
Mike Martin, NAPT Executive Director
Curt Macysyn, NSTA Executive Director