School bus safety is practically an institution. It has a notable U.S. history to be sure. The history of school bus safety is so significant that it deserves mention separate from the history of public education. School bus safety is its own entity and idea. To begin to understand the development of school bus safety, we first need to look at two bus companies still in existence today: Bluebird bus and Thomas transit. Both are giants in the school bus business, and both are responsible for having a significant impact on school bus safety in the early half of last century. The big year was 1939. That was when Dr. Frank W Cyr, a new york professor with an affinity for rural education, held a week long conference in the name of school bus safety. Fourty four school bus safety standards were established, as well as the uniformly yellow color of school buses, which was implemented on a national level. Of course, at first consideration, it seems somewhat absurd to take time in a week long conference on school bus safety to discuss the color of a bus. However, upon further consideration it is really a rather brilliant idea. The value this adds to school bus safety is simple: the yellow paint makes it obvious to any other automobile operators that this is a bus full of children, so be EXTRA careful. After all, children are our future. A very well known cliche, but also very true. Hence the extreme importance of school bus safety.
It was reported that 12 years earlier, Bluebird had already begun production on all steel school bus bodies, and by '39 both Bluebird and Thomas were manufacturing all steel bodies. Thomas was still relatively new to the school bus industry, but became a monster and before long Bluebird and Thomas were the key school bus production companies, and they carried the torch for school bus safety with pride. This is one of those rare occurances in history where companies were actually successful at staying in business and being responsible for the realization of moral values. School bus safety is important, we as a society and species are responsible for the safety and cultivation of our young. These companies at least followed up on the value of school bus safety and provided transportation to and from a place of cultivation in a safe manner for our young.
School bus safety laws require that public schoolbuses be a particular shade of yellow, prominently display the words 'school bus' in the front and back of the bus, have a host of flashing red and amber lights, and a stop sign that can be extended whenever the bus stops to pick up or drop off children. Other drivers on the road are expected to know and follow the indications from the lights and stop sign. This is crucial to school bus safety, as it is the actual stopping of the bus that creates the dangerous conditions that the children are exposed to. Therefore, a proper indication and application of caution from nearby motorists will allow for school bus safety to fulfill its purpose. Some argue that the school bus safety rules are a little excessive, making reasonable arguments that the false sense of safety created may actually increase risk of danger to children and should be revamped. However, the reality is that children are somewhat unpredictable, so the only reliable course of action from a school bus safety perspective is to put the responsibility of their safety in the hands of the other motorists, who are expected to be adults. Nevertheless, there are other dangers and school bus safety laws should be communicated to children in an attempt to educate them and hopefully empower them to keep themselves safe, just in case of irresponsible motorists or other dangers.
School bus safety week is an attempt to instill some of the values of school bus safety in the children themselves. Keeping children safe via school bus safety is a joint venture between bus driver, motorist, and child. It would be wonderful to eliminate children from the equation of school bus safety, since they are unpredictable and may not understand the dangers of transportation. However, we cannot. At the very least, children can help assist the institution that seeks to protect them. School bus safety week is the time for the children to get educated about what THEY should do to make our job as easy and manageable as possible. They have school bus safety lesson plans and school bus safety activities to education children. Also, a school bus safety curriculum guide is available in case a guide is needed on how to educate children on school bus safety. So, school bus safety has some relatively simple rules to follow for children when it comes to getting to the bus stop, boarding the bus, and riding the bus. School bus safety week also functions as a reminder to children that the bus is school property, and so they should behave in the bus as they would in the classroom. The hope being that if a child is generally behaved in the classroom, their behavior will then extend to the bus ride. I remember being a good student in the class, but perhaps a little unruly on the bus, so when it was made clear to me that being on the bus was the same as being in the classroom, I improved my behavior. That is why school bus safety week is so important. If you are at all involved with the transportation of children you should really be familiar with your school bus safety inspection manual to make sure that your bus(es) are up to standard.