Calvert Public Schools Celebrates 43rd Annual School Bus Safety Week

This Year's Theme: Avoid Harm, Obey the Stop Arm

PRINCE FREDERICK, Md. (Oct. 6, 2009)—In honor of National School Bus Safety Week, Calvert County Public Schools is publicizing School Bus Safety Week to help highlight the importance of school bus safety awareness and education.

This year's theme, Avoid Harm, Obey the Stop Arm, emphasizes the importance for drivers to follow the rules of the road and stop when the red lights flash and the stop sign deploys and children are getting on and off the bus. The stop arm requires drivers in all states to stop.

"As the safest mode of transportation to and from school, according to the National Academy of Sciences and U.S. Department of Transportation, parents trust the school bus to transport more than 26 million schoolchildren in 480,000 school buses each day. In our district alone, over 13,000 students ride 148 school buses," said Ed Cassidy, Director of Transportation. "Our job is to ensure that they get to school safe and sound on each and every ride which is why we think it is so important to celebrate School Bus Safety Week."

While national organizations believe school bus transportation is the safest way for children to get to school, parents are split between the yellow school bus and adult drivers. A recent survey by the American School Bus Council (ASBC) also found that forty-four percent of parents identify the yellow school bus as the safest way for children to get to school.

For years, school buses have provided access to an education for millions of children in America through healthy, safe and secure transportation to schools. All told, school buses provide more than 10 billion passenger trips each year. In turn, school buses offer solutions to four key issues facing our country:

-- Safety: School buses are the safest form of transportation for students - and many times safer than riding in the family car.

-- Traffic: Every child riding a school bus represents one fewer car on the road, especially in the congested area in and around schools, where children are at highest risk.

-- Fuel Consumption: The ASBC estimates that school bus transportation saves Americans more than $6 billion a year on fuel costs.

-- Environment: Students riding in the school bus instead of the family car means fewer car trips and less pollution.

Celebrated the third full week of October each year, School Bus Safety Week promotes awareness on the local and state level through poster and speech contests, distribution of school bus safety community awareness toolkits, and other activities to raise awareness of school bus safety issues.

Helpful Tips for School Bus Riders:

-- Be alert to traffic. Check both ways for cars before stepping off the bus.

-- Make eye contact with the bus driver, and wait for the bus driver's signal before crossing the street.

-- Walk in front of the bus; never walk behind the bus to cross the street.

-- While waiting for the bus, stay in a safe place away from the street.

-- Before leaving the sidewalk, look for the flashing red lights.

-- Never go under the bus to retrieve something you've dropped.

For more information about school bus safety, visit

Source: Calvert County Public Schools

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