ALBANY, N.Y. — South Carolina’s pupil transportation association voted at its recent annual conference to commit to a national association’s school bus safety campaign.
The South Carolina Association for Pupil Transportation (SCAPT) is the first state association to join the National Association for Pupil Transportation’s (NAPT’s) “Zip. Zero. Nada. None.” Campaign. The goal of the campaign is to reach zero school bus rider fatalities by 2025.
Theresa Taylor, president of the SCAPT, said that her association is proud to be the first to commit to the campaign, NAPT reported in a newsletter to its members last week, and that the SCAPT is “confident other states will follow our lead because it’s the right thing to do for the students and families we serve every school day.”
Barry Sudduth, president of the NAPT, said in the newsletter that the South Carolina association’s decision to join the campaign “is no surprise” because of the state’s strong background of pupil transportation leadership. That includes the adoption and implementation of Jacob’s Law, the nation’s first statewide ban on the use of 13-passenger vans in school transportation because they are not as safe as large yellow school buses, Sudduth added.
Taylor said, according to NAPT, that the South Carolina association agrees “with other transportation safety leaders that crashes and fatalities are not usually accidents, but predictable and preventable events,” and that the SCAPT believes the key to accomplishing the campaign’s goal is to encourage pupil transportation providers to focus time and resources on the campaign’s three components: school buses, school bus drivers, and professional development.
Developed in February, the “Zip. Zero. Nada. None.” campaign “encourages state and community officials to make commitments to safer school buses and safer drivers while recognizing that they may want to target or tailor their focus based on local circumstances,” Sudduth added.