The school year is in full swing and so is the increase of school buses on our roadways. Over one million children in California ride the bus to school every day.
To further expand public education about school buses, the California Highway Patrol (CHP) will observe National School Bus Safety Week, Oct.17-21. This week helps raise awareness about school bus safety to motorists, parents, teachers, and students.
It is crucial that motorists remember to exercise caution around school drop-off zones. When you see flashing red lights and the stop signal arm on a school bus activate, you are required by law to stop until the flashing red lights and stop signal arm have been deactivated. Equally important is to remember to slow down and watch for children around school buses.
“Protecting California’s students must be a shared effort between law enforcement, government agencies, transportation professionals, the motoring public, and parents,” said CHP Commissioner Joe Farrow.
School bus drivers are a vital component in ensuring students are safely transported on California roadways. The Department of Education and the Department of Motor Vehicles sets standards for bus drivers. The CHP helps protect student safety through its School Bus Program. The program includes an array of tests for bus drivers, a background investigation, health qualifications, interviews with CHP officers, and bus inspections.
The CHP is responsible for inspecting more than 24,000 school buses each year. In fiscal year 2013-2014, these buses traveled a total of almost 250 million miles.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, school buses are the safest way for children to get to and from school. They are designed to be safer than passenger vehicles in avoiding collisions and preventing injury. School buses transport many students at once, which decreases the number of vehicles near schools and reduces traffic congestion on our roadways.