According to a study in this month’s issue of Pediatrics Magazine, an average of 17,000 children in the U.S. wind up in hospital emergency rooms each year because of school bus-related injuries. Children, ages 10 to 14, accounted for the greatest number of injuries, which includes slips and falls on buses and getting pushed when buses stop or turn suddenly. The researchers said the results provide a strong argument for requiring safety belts on school buses. The National Coalition for School Bus Safety reports that just a handful of states—California, Florida, Louisiana, New Jersey, and New York—and some districts have implemented safety belt requirements for school buses.
Read how two principals deal with school bus safety:
Montana Principal Pat Hould writes: Because I live in a rural state and because so many of my students ride a bus, often times for good amounts of time each day, bus safety is a big concern for us. Two things have helped to ensure that my students are safer while riding the bus. Our bus drivers have had ongoing training in proper driving procedures/techniques AND camera equipment has been installed on each of our buses. The cameras help monitor student behavior while the bus is in motion and allow the drivers to pay closer attention to the road.
California Principal Dolores Vasquez writes: Administrators can assist with student safety by knowing the bus drivers and talking to them about the students. We also need to work with our students and parents about appropriate bus behaviors—if not followed, parents become responsible for transportation. The transportation needs in California’s urban and suburban districts generally do not require long drives (except in Los Angeles Unified), so many students can walk or carpool to school.