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Celebrating National School Bus Safety Week

bus safetyOctober 21-25, 2019 marks National School Bus Safety Week. About 150 SAISD bus drivers travel more than 2 million miles a year and do an exemplary job of keeping the 7,800 student riders safe.

“The new three-point seatbelts on the propane school buses are great because they keep the students safely in their seats while the bus is in motion,” said Juanita Richards, SAISD bus driver. “These seatbelts allow me to focus on my driving as the students are less likely to get up out of their seats.” 

In addition to the three-point seatbelts, SAISD has a number of other safety features including exterior and interior cameras, GPS tracking and the Zonar Z-Pass System for students in pre-kindergarten through fifth grade. The system sends a text notice to any parent that uses the app to inform them exactly when and where their children are getting on and off the bus.

More than 25 million children ride a yellow bus every school day, and National School Bus Safety Week serves as a reminder for students, parents, teachers, and the community to keep school bus safety in the forefront. See below for tips from The National Association for Pupil Transportation on how to keep children safe on the bus and at the bus stop.

Getting Ready for School 
Have your children put everything they carry in a backpack or school bag so that they won’t drop things along the way. 
Encourage them to wear bright, contrasting colors so they will be more easily seen by drivers. 
Make sure children leave home on time so they can arrive at the bus stop before it is due, ideally at least five minutes early. Running after or in front of a bus is dangerous. 

Walking to the Bus Stop 
Walk young children to the bus stop or encourage children to walk in groups. There is safety in numbers; groups are easier for drivers to see. 
Practice good pedestrian behavior: walk on the sidewalk, and if there is no sidewalk stay out of the street. If you must walk in the street, walk single file, face traffic and stay as close to the edge of the road as you can. 
Stop and look left, right and then left again if you must cross the street. Do the same thing at driveways and alleys. Exaggerate your head turns and narrate your actions so your child knows you are looking left, right and left. 

At the Bus Stop 
Have children wait in a location where the driver can see them while driving down the street. Try to avoid waiting in a house or car. 
Do not let children play in the street. Playing with balls or other toys that could roll into the street is also dangerous. 

Getting On and Off the Bus 
Warn children that if they drop something getting on and off the bus, they should never pick it up. Instead, they should tell the driver and follow the driver’s instructions. 
Remind children to look to the right before they step off the bus. 
If you meet your child at the bus stop after school, wait on the side where the child will be dropped off, not across the street. Children can be so excited to see you after school that they dash across the street and forget the safety rules. 

Mobile Devices 
Cell phones and other electronic devices are permitted on the school bus as long as: 
- They are stored in backpacks or other holders, keeping hands free to use handrails while boarding and departing the bus.
- Headphones, ear buds or similar devices are used. 
- Content does not violate the law or school district policy and procedures. 

School bus transportation plays a crucial role in education, and is the direct link between a neighborhood and the classroom. In addition to transporting students safely, SAISD Transportation has a number of educational initiatives including Rolling Riders, a collaboration with BiblioTech, Bexar County’s online library aimed to foster literacy by giving children access to digital books on Wi-Fi-equipped buses.

As seen in the photo below, not only does SAISD Transportation take pride in the safety of their drivers and riders, they know how to have a good time as well!


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