WASHINGTON, D.C. — A resolution before the U.S. House of Representatives would officially support School Bus Safety Week.
Pupil transportation professionals from across the industry have asked their representatives to honor the annual event, which is celebrated in the third week of October.
Realizing that there had been no official government blessing for School Bus Safety Week, the National School Transportation Association (NSTA) took the matter to Congressman John J. Duncan Jr. (R-Tenn.). Duncan introduced House Resolution 498 on Oct. 18, which coincided with this year’s School Bus Safety Week.
John Corr, president of NSTA, said the resolution would provide a significant boost to the week’s profile.
“The main goal is to get better awareness nationally of what the industry does,” Corr said. “We want to do a better job of telling our story — the different types of buses, how many children we carry, the tremendous safety record we have.”
Corr said the endeavor is also an opportunity for the three main industry associations — NSTA, the National Association for Pupil Transportation (NAPT) and the National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation Services — to work together. Members of the three groups and others throughout the school bus industry have pitched in by contacting their representatives.
“We’re certainly supporting the effort,” NAPT President Lenny Bernstein said. “We’re trying to get as many sponsors of the bill as possible.”
In order to be considered by the appropriate House committee, the resolution needs at least 50 representatives to co-sponsor it.
“They need to see significant support before they will move this type of resolution to the House floor,” said Becky Weber of BKSH & Associates, who represents NSTA in Washington. “This is not a controversial thing, so it’s hard to imagine anyone being against it.”
The resolution will not go before the Senate, nor will it require a presidential signature. If passed, it would be resolved that “the House of Representatives supports the goals and ideals of School Bus Safety Week,” the resolution states.
A key goal of the week is to remind students of the proper ways to get on and off the bus to ensure their safety. The event also recognizes the dedication of pupil transportation personnel.
School Bus Safety Week dates back to 1966. It is recognized in more than 40 states and sponsored by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
To identify and contact your congressperson in the U.S. House of Representatives, go to www.house.gov/writerep.