Dashcam footage shows an apparently impatient BMW driver speed up in an attempt to pass a moving school bus, only to end up on top of a concrete barrier.
When those of us who work in the school transportation industry get together to discuss our profession, we correctly focus on things like safety, service and efficiency.
We take great pride in the incredible safety record of pupil transportation. We willingly accept the responsibility to provide excellent service for our students and schools. And we are constantly striving to accomplish all of this as efficiently as possible, to keep those scarce education dollars in the classroom.
Sounds like a lot on our plates already.
But beyond these remarkable accomplishments, did you ever stop and think of all the ways our profession has made a real and lasting impact on our world? Simply put, it’s about the kids! Our work has a direct and daily effect on children with every ride we give.
Perhaps most important are those children who need some special care. Our work to provide high-quality support for children with an IEP makes a huge difference in their lives.
How about kids who don’t live next door to the school building? Our work has leveled the playing field and provided equal educational opportunities for rich and poor, urban, suburban and rural children alike.
How about those situations we call hazard zones? Do we just keep our fingers crossed, or do we step in with our big, yellow “hazard zone nullifier” (aka the school bus) and create a safe way for kids to get to school?
What about our country’s struggles with segregation in the 20th century? The answer was, of course, the school bus. Interestingly enough, the school bus retains a similar, critical role to this day, only now it is called “school choice.”
Does a child’s day consist of just that time from homeroom to homeroom? Not for the typical child of 2014. After-school activities, field trips, extracurricular events and sports all share that one common denominator: the school bus makes them possible.
What about working parents? Most school districts support some type of day care or alternate address accommodation so that parents count on the schools as partners in a safe and healthy family lifestyle.
Then there is the nagging reality that a school building does not move. Transporting children to accommodate the most efficient utilization of a district’s school buildings is a critical job that the school bus is called upon to perform all across this country.
And lest we forget the cost of all that’s involved in pupil transportation, let’s take a quick look at the numbers. The American School Bus Council tells us there are more than 480,000 school buses in service in the U.S. At a very conservative estimate of $40,000 annual operating cost per bus, our industry has a staggering $20 billion a year impact on the economy.
So the next time you are heading into work and already dreading that first jangling phone call, take a minute to put your job into perspective. Realize you are part of an amazingly important industry and that the job of transporting our children is indeed a truly noble profession.
John Fahey was in charge of the Buffalo (N.Y.) Public Schools transportation program for 18 years. He is now a senior consultant with the Tyler Technologies Versatrans Solution team. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Texas school transportation agency’s event will cover such topics as safety innovations, emergency resources, training and education, and communications.
Amid a reported rise in prescription drug misuse and illicit drug abuse in the general workforce, school transportation providers stay vigilant with up-to-date training, education, and wellness efforts.
An event at the Governor’s Residence highlights school bus safety issues and recognizes winners of the state’s poster contest and safety competition.
The initial rollout will showcase companies in such areas as attendance, camera technology, GPS, fleet maintenance, and parent portal.
The New York School Bus Contractors Association holds a variety of school bus safety events throughout the state and renews its call for stiffer penalties for drivers who illegally pass stopped school buses.
NAPT and SBF are researching issues related to school bus driver shortage. Transportation directors and hiring managers are asked to complete a survey on the subject. The deadline is Monday.
Tod Eskra takes the reins of the school bus fleet management services firm, which is a member of the TransPar Group of Companies.
This powerful PSA tells the heartbreaking story of 12-year-old Adam Kempf, who was fatally struck by a van while crossing the street to board his school bus in 2012.
During School Bus Safety Week, state troopers are riding on or following school buses to catch motorists who illegally pass them.
A 15-year-old in Pennsylvania said he was hit with a metal rod while waiting for his bus. Authorities say his fabricated story brought in more than $4,000 in donations on GoFundMe.
The new edition of National School Transportation Specifications and Procedures incorporates updates that were adopted at the 2015 industry congress.
Appreciation efforts for Cobb County’s more than 1,000 drivers include a poetry contest, thank-you cards, and breakfasts and lunches.
Emporia (Kan.) Public Schools’ video for National School Bus Safety Week informs the public about safety procedures, including pre-trip inspections, warning lights and stop arms, and student loading and unloading.
Durham School Services has created “Rollin’ With Safety,” which gives students and parents school bus safety tips.