HARRISBURG, Pa. — State dignitaries and members of the school transportation community gathered at the Governor’s Residence here on Wednesday to celebrate National School Bus Safety Week.
At the ceremony, representatives from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, the Pennsylvania State Police, and school transportation organizations addressed the importance of promoting school bus safety to students, parents, and the general public. They also highlighted the state’s law on stopping for school buses.
The celebration of School Bus Safety Week in Pennsylvania also recognized students who entered the School Bus Safety Poster Contest. The top three winners in four divisions were recognized at the reception. The first-place winner in each division moves on to the national competition.
"By taking part in the poster contest, these young artists use their talent and creativity to help us share important safety messages," state Transportation Secretary Leslie Richards said. "This year’s creations reinforce the importance of obeying Pennsylvania’s school bus stopping law and stopping when a bus has its red lights flashing and stop arm extended — a smart choice that can save lives."
Also, winners of the Pennsylvania School Bus Driver Safety Competition were honored. Pennsylvania School Bus Association (PSBA) President Fred Bennett introduced the top three winners for the conventional and transit divisions. The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation presented each of the drivers with a certificate, and the top winner in each division received a traveling trophy from PSBA.
In his introduction of the drivers at the Governor’s Residence, Bennett said, “The prestige of this executive residence spotlights the important contribution of Pennsylvania school bus drivers to our commonwealth.”
Another School Bus Safety Week initiative held on Wednesday in Pennsylvania was Operation Safe Stop. Local and state law enforcement agencies, school districts, and student transportation agencies raised awareness of the consequences of improperly passing school buses. Police officers watched for motorists violating the school bus stopping law, and, when possible, school bus drivers documented any illegal passes on their routes to file reports with local police.
Also on Wednesday, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation highlighted a video that explains when to stop for school buses: