This is National School Bus Safety Week and a great opportunity to stress the importance of safety around the school bus. It is estimated that 25 million students nationwide ride the school bus to and from school each day.
"My School Bus, The Safest Form of Student Transportation" is the theme this year. Across the state of Alabama about 80 percent of school-age children ride that big yellow bus at least once during the school year. School bus transportation is an integral part of today's education system and is the only way many students could get to school.
School bus drivers in the Jackson County and Scottsboro City School Systems are among the elite group of Alabama school bus drivers who have an exemplary safety record. The number one priority of these men and women is to make sure that the children on their routes arrive safely to school each morning then back home in the afternoon.
All school bus drivers have a Commercial Driver’s License and regularly attend classes to keep that certification current. Also, all school buses undergo regular safety checks by the qualified personnel at the school bus garage. The safety of students is a priority.
School bus safety drills are conducted at all schools. This prepares the students on how to respond should an emergency occur while they are on the bus.
Children ride the school bus to school events such as field trips. Athletes ride the bus to sporting events throughout the year. Those high school students who attend EPCOT (Earnest Pruett Center of Technology) depend on the school bus to transport them to and from their home schools throughout the county.
Often the school bus driver is the first friendly adult some children see in the morning. They trust their driver to get them to their location.
It is important for motorists to remember that they have a responsibility for school bus safety. It is illegal to pass a stopped school bus when it is loading or unloading students. Motorists should not be in such a hurry that they chance passing a stopped school bus and hitting a child.
School Bus Safety Week is a good time for parents to thank the bus drivers who transport their children. A simple thank you goes a long way with these dedicated personnel.