CINCINNATI — School transportation provider First Student has kicked off its fourth annual Safety Dog Bus Tour, in an effort to put a spotlight on safety this back-to-school season.
Kicking off Aug. 23 in Rochester, Minnesota, and Nashua, New Hampshire, the Safety Dog Bus Tour will travel to 10 locations across North America. Each tour stop is designed to reinforce safe school bus behavior through fun, interactive activities.
“Student safety is at the heart of everything we do,” said Dennis Maple, president of First Student. “The Safety Dog Bus Tour provides a timely and engaging platform to teach appropriate behavior and showcase the safety features on a First Student bus. We make it fun, so these messages are delivered in a memorable way.”
During tour events, students can see how a First Student bus is designed for safety inside and out; walk a yellow carpet and pose for a photo with Safety Dog, First Student’s safety mascot; sign a safety pledge; and leave with a bag of goodies.
The tour also aims to remind motorists that they, too, have an important role in keeping bus riders safe by obeying stop-arm safety laws. A national survey coordinated in 2017 by the National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation Services found that nearly 80,000 drivers illegally passed school buses in one day.
Since 2015, there have been 23 stops on the Safety Dog Bus Tour. In total, more than 25,000 guests have visited a stop, and almost 9,000 students signed a safety pledge, according to First Student.
A full list of tour dates, times, locations, safety tips, and downloadable activities for students and parents is available at safetydogbustour.com. Safety tips and tour updates also can be found by following First Student on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, as well as by using the #SafetyDogBusTour hashtag.