School bus contractors are among those promoting student safety this week as part of National School Bus Safety Week.

The theme for this year’s National School Bus Safety Week is “Be smart — be seen. I wait in a safe place.” First Student emphasized that message by noting the importance of students staying in the school bus driver’s line of sight when entering or exiting the bus, which they can do by:

• Staying 12 giant steps away from the outside of the bus
• Waiting for the bus to stop completely before getting on or off
• Not picking up any items they may have dropped near the bus, but asking the driver for help instead
• Staying away from the bus wheels at all times

“Our drivers are fully focused each day on ensuring students travel to and from school safely,” First Student President Dennis Maple said. “Because school buses carry such precious cargo, it is also important for parents and motorists to remain alert around school buses.”

Student Transportation Inc. (STI) locations are holding safety meetings, demonstrations and online training courses during National School Bus Safety Week.

Also, STI is hosting its third annual Safety Wall of Fame awards banquet this week in Wall, New Jersey. Company officials said that they will honor 13 STI employees who have “displayed an outstanding commitment to safety throughout their career in student transportation.” For the list of honorees and their locations, go here.

Durham School Services is promoting National School Bus Safety Week via its social media channels. The contractor has been posting pupil transportation statistics, such as this one from the American School Bus Council: “School buses keep an annual estimated 17.3 million cars off the roads surrounding schools each morning.”

Also, Durham is offering activities for teaching students about school bus safety on its Kid Zone web page.

As part of National School Bus Safety Week, the New York School Bus Contractors Association is renewing its call for increased school bus safety legislation, including stiffer penalties for drivers who illegally pass a stopped school bus, tougher penalties for school bus drivers who drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and expanded drug and alcohol testing for all school bus drivers.

“School buses are, without a doubt, the safest way for a child to get to and from school, and overall our school districts and contractors are doing a phenomenal job here in New York,” said Robert Pape, president of the New York School Bus Contractors Association. “However, there’s more we can do to make that ride safer, including the passage of key school bus safety legislation sponsored by New York senators Rich Funke and John Flanagan.”

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