Q: Are my children safe riding the bus?
A: The United States Department of Transportation and other authorities agree that school buses are the safest form of transportation for getting children to and from school. Riding in a school bus is much safer than any other form of transportation, including personal vehicles, railroads, and airline travel. According to the Transportation Research Board, a child is 13 times safer in a school bus than in other modes of travel. The American School Bus Council suggests the following things that you and your child can do to help keep your child safe:
Walk your child to and from the bus stop. If possible, wait with him or her until the bus arrives.
Be alert to traffic. Check both ways for cars before stepping off the bus.
Wait for the bus driver's signal before crossing the street.
Walk in front of the bus; never walk behind the bus to cross the street.
While waiting for the bus, stay in a safe place away from the street.
Before leaving the sidewalk, look for the flashing lights.
Never go under the bus to retrieve something you've dropped.
Teach your child the importance of staying seated on the bus.
Get to know your bus driver. He or she is a trained professional who sees your child every day; he or she would be happy to tell you about the safety features on the bus and the responsibility drivers have for keeping their young passengers safe.
There are 475,000 school buses that transport 25 million school children each day. School buses are the nation's largest mass transportation system, completing 10 billion passenger trips and 4.3 billion miles per year. There are 20 buses in the Norwalk City School bus fleet, with 13 full-time drivers. In addition to our regular bus routes, our buses transport our students to a myriad of extracurricular activities. Our buses travel more than 800 miles every day on our regular routes. We transport approximately 1,500 students to both the public and parochial schools in Norwalk on a daily basis. If you have any questions about our transportation system in Norwalk, contact Dustin Brown, director of Support Services, at (419) 663-9118.
Dr. Wayne Babcanec is the superintendent of Norwalk City Schools. His column appears every other Friday. For more information on Norwalk City Schools, call (419) 668-2779.