National School Bus Safety Week: PCPS Offers Safety Tips

National School Bus Safety Week: PCPS Offers Safety Tips

For Schools, News
Floral Avenue Elementary student and bus driver

During National School Bus Safety Week, Polk County Public Schools is reminding students and parents of simple things they can do to ensure children are safely transported to and from school each day.

“Providing safe, reliable transportation is always job No. 1,” said Rob Davis, assistant superintendent of support services.

“But National School Bus Safety Week is a great opportunity to remind our community that school bus safety is a shared responsibility. Transporting our students to and from school safely every day requires everyone to act and drive responsibly. Our kids are counting on us.”

On a daily basis, PCPS transports approximately 50,000 students on more than 500 buses, logging more than 60,000 miles each day. At the beginning of the 2019-20 school year, PCPS unveiled a major transportation safety initiative: a more than $6 million upgraded radio communication system that directly connects to the county’s emergency radio system.

With the technology, bus drivers and attendants can press a button and immediately contact the county’s 911 system and emergency services. The upgrade also makes it possible to immediately identify which bus is transmitting and its location. Previously, bus drivers and assistants needed to use cell phones to dial 911, or radio the district’s bus dispatchers to call for help.

However, the work to ensure safe bus transportation is never done, Davis said.

The National Association for Pupil Transportation offers the following school bus safety tips:

  • Parents should make sure their children arrive at the bus stop at least five minutes before the bus arrives, so that they don’t have to run after or in front of the bus.
  • It’s also a good idea to walk your child to the bus stop or have them walk with a group of other children. Large groups are easier for drivers to see.
  • Children should use the sidewalk, or in areas where there is no sidewalk, they should stay out of the street. If children do need to walk in the street, they should walk in a single-file line, face traffic and stay close to the edge of the road.
  • Make sure children know to look both ways before crossing the street.
  • If children drop something while getting on and off the bus, they should never pick it up. They should tell the driver and follow the driver’s instructions on what to do.
  • Parents meeting the bus should stand where children will be dropped off, not across the street, to avoid having children cross the road.

National School Bus Safety Week is a joint initiative of the National Association for Pupil Transportation, National School Transportation Association and National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation Services.

For more school bus safety tips, visit napt.org.