School Bus Safety Week

School Bus Safety Week
Posted on 10/24/2018

From Curt Jackson, Transportation Director Did you know that students are about 50 times more likely to arrive at school alive on a school bus than if they drive themselves or ride with friends? The safety record of school buses is also far superior to that of passenger vehicles, regardless of the age of the driver. According to the American School Bus Council, based on research from several federal studies, travel by school bus is THE safest way for students to get to and from school. At first glance, today’s school bus might not seem different from the buses that today’s students’ parents and grandparents rode ... but it is. School bus drivers must meet stringent training requirements and the bus itself continues to evolve as a result of federal regulations and industry initiatives.

Parents and other members of the general public can improve student safety by supporting school bus transportation. School boards have tough jobs — especially when money is tight. It is tempting to reduce transportation, cut out service or take other money-saving measures that can negatively impact safety. The decision-makers must hear from their constituents that safety IS important.

Some 25 million students nationwide begin and end their day with a trip on a school bus. Designed for safety, with flashing lights, giant mirrors, high seat backs and that bright yellow color, school buses keep more than 17 million cars away from school buildings every day.

School buses are the safest way for students to travel, but children also need to do their part to stay alert and aware of their surroundings to prevent injury. Mexico Public Schools urges parents to teach their children the following safety rules for getting on and off the bus, and for exercising good behavior while riding.

Riding the school bus for the first time is a big step for your child. Help your kids get a gold star in school bus safety by following these tips. Keeping Children safe is our top priority, especially for younger children and those heading to school for the first time.

Top Tips for Riding the Bus

School buses are the safest way to get children to and from school, but injuries can occur if kids are not careful when getting on and off the school bus.  *Walk with your young kids to the bus stop and wait with them until it arrives. Make sure drivers can see the kids at your bus stop. *Teach kids to stand at least three giant steps back from the curb as the bus approaches and board the bus one at a time. *Teach kids to wait for the school bus to come to a complete stop before getting off and not to walk behind the bus. *If your child needs to cross the street after exiting the bus, he or she should take five giant steps in front of the bus, make eye contact with the bus driver and cross when the driver indicates it’s safe. Teach kids to look left, right and left again before crossing the street. *Instruct younger kids to use handrails when boarding or exiting the bus. Be careful of straps or drawstrings that could get caught in the door. If your child drops something, they should tell the bus driver and make sure the bus driver is able to see them before they pick it up. *Drivers should follow the speed limit and slowdown in school zones and near bus stops. Remember to stay alert and look for kids who may be trying to get to or from the school bus. *Slow down and stop if you’re driving near a school bus that is flashing yellow or red lights. This means the bus is either preparing to stop (yellow) or already stopped (red) and children are getting on or off.

If you‘re driving behind a school bus, allow a greater following distance than if you were driving behind a car. It will give you more time to stop once the “yellow student warning lights” start flashing. Never pass a school bus from behind or from either direction if you are on an undivided road and the school bus has its “STOP SIGN OUT.” It is illegal in all 50 states to pass a school bus that has stopped to load or unload student and the “STOP SIGN” is extended.In 2018, the National Association of Pupil Transportation services reported 83,944 Illegal passing of School Bus in on day nationwide, 844 in Missouri and 6 in Mexico.

Each day all Mexico School District buses go thru a 40 point pre-trip inspection before leaving the lot, and twice a year they are inspected by the Missouri State Highway Patrol motor vehicle inspection division.  In 2018, we received a 100% rating and a “Fleet Excellence” award.

School buses drivers have a tremendous responsibility in transporting our students with parents and students assistance, we can make each day at Mexico Public Schools a safe one. If you have any questions concerning transportation, and call 573-581-3773 ext. 2405.