How Safe is the School Bus?Apr 18, 2001 Write an essay on this topic.
Popular Products in StrollersThe Bottom Line Know all that you can about school buses before you place your child on the bus. It can be a matter of life and death.
The school bus is touted the safest form of transportation around. The statistics support this. However, there are facts every parent and child should know before a child steps on a school bus.
Child Deaths on and around School buses
Children can and do die on and around school buses. This fact became very real to me and my family on Jan 9,2001. My five year old daughter was crushed beneath the wheels of her school bus.
I, like many other parents, believed that the fear of cars passing the bus was the most real. However, I have since learned that 66% of children killed at the school bus stop are killed by the school bus.
Another myth is that parents at the stop can prevent this. I was at the school bus stop, as are 60% of parents that live this nightmare.
Around 50 children die in the US every year in or around the school bus(in the states that actively report the deaths). The majority of the deaths happen in the DANGER ZONE. The danger zone is a 10 foot area that extends from the bus outward on all sides. The most dangerous is the front and the rear. Do not believe that a child is safe if they cross in front of the crossing gate! Small children may not be seen by the driver even at that distance.
A child's clothing and back pack are easily caught in handrails and doors on school buses. This results in children being dragged by the school bus. Several children die this way every year. More are seriously injured.
What can prevent this?
The best prevention is to be proactive. Children and parents should review safety information often. Get to know your child's bus driver. Determine what his/her safety policies are. Children and drivers should maintain eye contact when loading or unloading the bus. Children should arrive 5 minutes early to bus stops in the morning and wait away from the road.
Speak to the school district transportation director. Ask about policies and procedures for loading and unloading. The more educated you are, the safer your child is. If something does not sound right. Do not accept it. Talk to the superintendent of schools, the school board, the state official. However, never let it go. Little things mean a great deal when it comes to bus safety.
Visit bus safety websites to see what is new in the industry. Find out what can be done in your community that is not being done. There are several devices on the market that detect children in the danger zone. These devices alert the driver and child to the danger with audible alarms.
Know the laws in your state. We are a military family. We came to Georgia only 3 months before my daughter was killed. After her death, I found the county where she was killed was not complying with state standards. Had I known, she would never have been on a school bus.
Most importantly, join the parents of this nation trying to achieve better federal standards. There are many groups trying to get legislation passed. Make informed decisions. Our children are the most important things in our life. I learned a little too late how the people we trust can sometimes be the people we should not.
|Read all comments (5)|Write your own comment|