As an active and evolving public educational program, school districts nationwide observe National School Bus Safety Week, held for a full week from Oct.18- 22, as a way for students, parents, teachers and motorists, school bus operators, administrators and other parties to focus on and share the importance of school bus safety.
Recently, school buses in the Chula Vista Elementary School District rolled out 10 zero emission, electric powered buses paid with grant money from the California Energy Commission and two more will be received in May 2022, expanding the electric fleet to 12.
The district said it is committed to safety first when transporting its students, including the health of bus riders. District Communications Director Anthony Millican said publicly , “We obviously have a number of green practices in place and our electric fleet enables us to reduce our carbon footprint and makes the air around our buses cleaner.”
The National Association of Pupil Transportation reports more than 25 million children ride school buses every school day, playing a critical role in the education of students and serving as a direct link between a neighborhood and the classroom.
"The whole transportation team is really important for getting our kids to school safely," Chula Vista Elementary School District board member Leslie Bunker said. "I just want to make sure they know that we appreciate them and their work."
To ensure the safety of school children when utilizing school buses, the NAPT prepared safety tips to follow.
Preparing to leave for school
- When getting ready for school, have your child put everything they carry in a backpack or schoolbag so nothing gets dropped along the way.
- Encourage them to wear bright, contrasting colors to be easily seen by drivers.
- Ensure a set schedule and arrive at the bus stop ideally five minutes before it is due.
- Walking to the Bus Stop
- Walk young children to the bus stop or encourage children to walk in groups.
- Walk along the sidewalk, and if there is no sidewalk, stay out of the street. If you must walk along the street, walk single file on the furthest edge of the road while facing traffic.
- Before crossing any street, stop and look to your left and right at least twice. The same practice should be applied at drive-ways and alleys.
At the Bus Stop
- Wait in a location where school bus drivers can spot them from across the street. Avoid waiting in a house or a car.
- Do not allow children to play in the street or with toys that may roll into the street while waiting for a school bus.
On-boarding and off-boarding the school bus
- Instruct children to advise the driver of any dropped item and to follow provided instructions.
- Remind children to look to the right before they step off the bus.
- When meeting your child at the bus stop after school, wait on the side where the child will be dropped off.
Most school districts permit cell phones and electronic devices on the school bus as long as they do not create distractions for the driver and do not obtain content that will violate the law or school district policies and procedures. School Bus riders are advised to keep their electronics in their backpacks or other holders to keep their hands free to use handrails while boarding and departing.
The Chula Vista Elementary School District and the Sweetwater Union High School Districts provide transportation for eligible students living beyond the following distances from their zoned schools. More information about transportation services are available on their respective websites at sweetwaterschools.org and cvesd.org.