MC Schools suggests bus safety as best means of driver appreciation image

Janie Beal with Marshall County Schools boards the bus for her pre-trip check, which must be conducted each day, includes checking lights, brakes and other important safety elements before students board the bus.

Contributed

This week, October 20-26, is National School Bus Safety Week. Did you know, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, students are 70 times more likely to get to school safely when they take a school bus instead of traveling by car?

At the heart of school bus safety are bus drivers and bus monitors. These hardworking employees are up and on the road earlier than anyone else in the district and their primary focus is to get your child to school safely. They are often the first employee to greet each student for the new school day and the last to say goodbye each afternoon.

Marshall County Schools employs 57 bus drivers and 11 bus monitors, and runs 52 routes each and every day. Marshall County buses transport almost 3,000 students on any given day and drive more than 750,000 miles per year. That’s far enough to drive to the moon and back—and back to the moon again.

With all that time on the roads, the best way to appreciate our bus drivers and monitors is to make their jobs easier by driving safely. It’s important that we all do our part to contribute to school bus safety. Here are a few quick tips for being safe on the roads:

• If you approach or are following a school bus, keep an eye on its signal lights and stop arm and be prepared to come to a stop. If a school bus extends its stop sign, STOP.

• Do not resume driving until the stop arm is withdrawn and the bus begins to move—just because a passenger has disembarked does not mean that it is safe to go.

• Don’t text and drive! Any distraction behind the wheel can be dangerous, but texting and driving seriously impairs your ability to see and respond to important changes on the road—like the lights and stop arm of a school bus.

• Slow down, especially in residential neighborhoods or around schools and bus stops.

Marshall County Schools is very proud of all of our hardworking transportation staff. Be sure to show your appreciation to a bus driver or monitor this week, and remember to always drive safe.