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What Can You Do To Help Kids Get To/From School Safely?

What Can You Do To Help Kids Get To/From School Safely?

School budgets in many states and school districts are in such dire straits that schools are being forced to make choices in how their limited funds are expended.  In most instances, the “education budget” must be divided up among important, but yet competing, items such as salaries, computers, books, school building improvements and school bus transportation.

Numerous studies of the safety of school transportation have been conducted over the past several decades by the most respected safety organizations in the United States.  All of the studies come to the same indisputable conclusion – school buses provide the safest transportation on the Nation’s highways.  For example, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration stated:

“American students are nearly eight times safer riding in a school bus than with their own parents and guardians in cars. The fatality rate for school buses is only 0.2 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles traveled (VMT) compared to 1.5 fatalities per 100 million VMT for cars”

 In June 2002, the National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences released a report, “The Relative Risks of School Travel: A National Perspective and Guidance for Local Community Risk Assessment,” that noted:

“Each year approximately 800 school-aged children are killed in motor vehicle crashes during normal school travel hours.1 Of these 800 deaths, about 20 (2 percent) – 5 school bus passengers and 15 pedestrians – are school bus-related.  The other 98 percent of the school-aged deaths occur in other motor vehicles … or to pedestrians, bicyclists, or motorcyclists.”

If you are concerned about the 800 children that die each year when walking, riding a bike or riding in something other than a school bus, here are some things you can do.

1.    Contact your local school board and state legislators and express your opinions on the importance of ensuring that school children are provided safe, secure and reliable transportation.  Demand that school bus transportation be fully funded and that all school children be made eligible for school bus transportation.  Why?  Because it is the safest way for children to get to and from school and school-related activities, and because the use of school buses, rather than dozens of private motor vehicles, reduces congestion on streets, reduces air pollution and saves fuel.

2.    Discuss the importance of school bus transportation in PTA meetings.  Encourage the PTA to contact the local school board and legislators to demand full funding of school bus transportation.

3.    Talk with other parents and compare the convenience and reliability of school buses for ensuring the safe, secure and efficient transportation of school children.

4.    Become a knowledgeable advocate for school bus transportation

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Global , School safety

Date: 11/23/2011 12:40:17 PM

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