They're big, they're yellow and they are carrying precious cargo. That's why First Student, the nation's largest school transportation provider, is urging motorists to “See Yellow” to support National School Bus Safety Week, October 17-21, 2011.
“With more than 480,000 school buses back on the road this year transporting 26 million students to and from school each day, ‘seeing' and paying attention when school buses are present can prevent injuries and save lives,” says Gary Catapano, senior vice president for Safety at First Student.
School buses are the safest form of transportation on the road today. In fact, they're approximately 13 times safer than a passenger car, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The standard school bus ranges in length from 22 to 33 feet. They're designed with numerous safety features. In addition to their bright yellow color, school buses also have flashing red and yellow lights, stop arms and in some states where mandated, they even have flashing strobe lights. Yet despite all these visual safety features, every year some distracted motorists fail to “see yellow” and cause near misses or collisions. “Most accidents can be avoided if motorists stay alert when school buses are present,” notes Catapano.
“To keep students, motorists and their passengers safe, we're asking everyone on the road to pay attention, avoid distractions and watch for the yellow school buses on roadways,” adds Catapano. First Student has partnered with the National Safety Council to create a school bus safety website. The site provides important safety information and tips for parents, motorists, and students.
Each year the National Association for Pupil Transportation (NAPT) sponsors National School Bus Safety Week and a student poster contest as a way to bring national and local attention to school bus safety. This year, NAPT's poster theme is “I see the driver and the driver sees me,” to remind students to be aware of the school bus danger, which helps ensure students are a safe distance away from the bus and within the driver's line of sight when crossing in front of a school bus.