Please make sure that your children know what bus route they should be on when they ride the bus and what their bus stop is. If your child gets on the wrong bus they should let the driver know this. Reinforce with your child that they should never get off the bus at the wrong bus stop.
If your child is more than 10 minutes late getting off the bus you should call the Transportation office at 916.774.1231. For various reasons the buses may occasionally run late but it is always better to check with our office than to worry. If a bus is late for some reason there will be someone in the office until all buses have returned from their routes and have left for the day.
Why should your child ride a school bus to school?
That is a very good question! If you have been driving your child to and from school you already know how congested the parking lots are getting. Tempers are short for many reasons and children are running in between cars and buses to get to their parents. The children are excited and they are not paying attention. In the world that we live everyone is in a hurry to get somewhere. All of this creates danger for our children.
A child is 13 times safer riding in a school bus than in other modes of travel. We all feel that our own children are safer with us than with anyone else, and that nobody can love or care for our children better than we can. That is true, but ... you can not control the behavior of the other drivers on the road. How many people have you observed driving down the road talking on a cell phone, putting on make-up, eating or a number of other things while they are driving? How many times have you driven your car while doing one of these things? These people are distracted and their distraction can devastate you and your family. Your vehicle can not withstand an impact from a vehicle driven by a distracted person like a school bus can.
It is true that a parent will protect their child more fiercely than any other person will, but you can only protect them from what you can control. You can not control other vehicles. There are so many reasons to put your child on a school bus but their safety is the single most important reason.
For some other reasons, you can visit the American School Bus Council web site to read about the safety of the school bus, read their press release and read about their new fuel calculator.
We all use the internet for information these days. Use the internet to do some research on school buses and the safety that they provide for all of our children!
School Buses Still Safer than Safe Routes
While state and federal programs continue to advocate students walking and biking to school to achieve physical fitness and mitigate traffic congestion and resulting pollution, the children who utilize these modes of transportation are open to significantly more injuries and fatalities than if they rode the school bus.
Eleven percent of all student injuries and fatalities during the school commute occur while walking or biking, says a report published by the Safe Routes to School National Partnership. However, the lack of a universal reporting system for bike or pedestrian fatalities and injuries could mean that incidences are under-reported by 20 percent, according to a Journal of Trauma paper published this year and cited in the Safe Routes report.
A recently released NHTSA fatality report extrapolated for crashes occurring during the morning and afternoon school commutes found that 62 students were killed as pedestrians during the 2007-2008 school year, either walking or biking to or from school. That is 10 times greater than the six fatalities that occurred nationally over the same time period on board school buses as a result of crashes.
Meanwhile, 368 students were killed in other passenger vehicles in 2007-2008.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau and Proximity, an economic and demographics information solutions firm, there will be just shy of 53 million K-12 school children in the United States in 2010, and more than 61.5 million children if you factor in 3- and 4-year-old preschoolers. The most recent STN survey of states, which is incomplete due to several states not responding or having outdated numbers of students transported by school districts, estimated that more than 38 million children ride the school bus one-way each school day.
The Safe Routes study found that students who walk or bike to school account for 14 percent of all school commutes and less than two percent of the miles traveled. But, it added, bicycle sales have passed new auto sales in the United States by nearly 1.7 million annually, and more than 70 percent of children ages five to 14 ride a bicycle at some point, though not necessarily to and from school.
However, a lack of safe bike routes, bike safety education, enforcement and infrastructure improvements have resulted in greater risks, which the fatality and injury numbers appear to confirm. The report pointed to five Safe Routes programs in Santa Rosa, Calif., Miami, Maine, Springfield, Mo., and Portland, Ore., where federal and state funds have resulted in bike and/or pedestrian education programs that have helped reduce fatalities and injuries by 32 to 63 percent.
Injuries and fatalities could also see a drop if a call from the National Association for State Directors of Pupil Transportation is heeded. NASDPTS members requested 10 percent of infrastructure funds from the re-authorization of the surface transportation act (SAFETEA-LU) to be set aside for the creation of safe routes to bus stops outside the two-mile radius from school. Currently, the provision is not included in the House version but is contained within the Senate bill.