School Bus Safety Week, Oct. 16 -22

‘Stop Bullying – Think School Bus Safety’ is the theme for School Bus Safety Week, Oct. 16 – 22.

The Department of Education, New Brunswick Federation of Home & School Associations and Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) are partnering to promote awareness of school bus safety issues, with the focus this year on bullying.

“Bullying is something that we cannot ignore,” Education Minister Madeleine Dubé said. “Every child has the right to feel safe at or on their way to school. Children who feel safe and secure will do better in school and will have a healthier perspective on life.”

“Bullying often begins on the school bus ride to and from school,” said Linda Bateman of the New Brunswick Federation of Home & School Associations. “This can cause the bus driver to be distracted which may affect safety on the school bus. Respect is the key to school bus safety: respect for each other, respect for the bus driver, and respect for the rules.”

“We’re all responsible for school bus safety,” said Sgt. Doug Lockhart of the RCMP’s Community Policing Section. “Bullying and school bus safety are two important parts of the RCMP’s National Youth Strategy. Students, parents, teachers, and the public must pay special attention to these two key issues.”

Parents, guardians and the pubic are encouraged to review the warning signs of being bullied as well as what they can do to help prevent bullying.

Warning signs are:

-Shows an abrupt lack of interest in school, or refuses to go to school or travel on the school bus.
-Has torn or missing clothing.
-Has physical injuries not consistent with explanation.
-Has stomach aches, headaches, panic attacks, is unable to sleep.
-Suffers a drop in grades.

Ways to help prevent bullying are:

-Be a good listener.
-Discuss bullying behaviour with your children – the different types: physical, verbal and social; and their effects.
-Work collaboratively with school personnel to address the problem.
-Be as vigilant about bullying prevention as you are about other safety concerns like street proofing and drug and alcohol use.
-Become active in your community schools.

In New Brunswick, nearly 1,100 school buses transport 90,000 children to and from school each day. The buses travel about 25 million kilometres per year.

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3 Replies to “School Bus Safety Week, Oct. 16 -22”

  1. October 16 – 22, 2005 was School Bus Safety Week

    Allyceea Ennis was born October 22, 1999. She would have been 6-years-old this School Bus Safety Week.

    School buses have been compared to travelling fortresses with crash statistics indicating they are the safest vehicles on the road. This is largely due to strictly mandated federal construction standards, high visibility, as well as the professionalism school bus drivers.

    Data from the Canadian Hospitals Injury Reporting and Prevention Program (CHIRPP) indicates that the vast majority of school bus-related injuries (85%) had nothing to do with school bus crashes. More than one quarter (26.1%) were due to horseplay, inappropriate activity, and fighting.

    Who’s looking after our children on the school bus?
    A very distracted driver?
    Or nobody at all?

    For safety and discipline purposes a school bus is an extension of the classroom.

    School principals are responsible for the behaviour, health and safety of students on the school bus.

    Supervisory responsibility is delegated by the principal to the school bus driver while students are on the bus.

    The average full size school bus has 24 seats and can transport up to 72 young students.

    That’s 2 to 3 times the average class size of an elementary school teacher.

    Teachers do not supervise with their backs to their class while driving a huge commercial vehicle through rush hour traffic and changing road conditions.

    School bus drivers can’t even see the smaller children over the high seat backs.

    Police can charge drivers with careless driving if they do not pay full attention to their driving.

    School bus drivers are legally required to concentrate on safe driving and operating traffic controlling safety devices.

    A school bus driver who is concentrating fully on driving cannot also monitor the behaviour, health and safety of children.

    Bullies thrive on school buses where the only adult is focused elsewhere.

    The school bus is where most school-related sexual harassment occurs.

    The number one deterrent to sexual harassment and bullying is adult supervision, and children knowing there are consequences for their actions.

    Most school bus passenger injuries occur under non-collision circumstances.

    More than 1/3 of school bus-related injuries are due to horseplay, inappropriate activity or fighting.

    Children are four times more likely to cause driver distraction than adult passengers.

    Driver distraction is the most common cause of school bus crashes.

    About two-thirds of school bus-related fatalities occur when children are getting on or off the bus.

    Driver “inattention” and “failure to yield” were factors most often reported by U.S. police for school bus and school-age pedestrian collisions.

    Over 1/2 of school bus-related pedestrian fatalities are children between the ages of 5 and 7.

    Child development experts say children under the age of nine require proper supervision at all times because they aren’t developmentally able to make safe judgements on their own.

    Teaching young children school bus safety rules is very important but it is NOT ENOUGH!

    Children require adequate adult supervision to make sure the rules are followed on and around the bus.

    For more information, please visit: http://www.RememberAllyceea.com

  2. Hi. I am a school bus driver .
    I think that all parents need to know about bus safety, and that it is dangerous on that bus .
    I also think the news/radio/ect. needs to get involed to help keep our buses safe.

    Thank you , Tonya

  3. I am also a school bus driver. Thank you for your message. Driving safely requires full attention of the driver . I feel there should be monitors on the bus that watch and supervise the children as well as cameras. I recently lost several of my routes because I spoke up about parents at the school running my red lights as I was dropping off students. The principal was giving parents permission to go through the lights. I lost my routes and he is still supervising the safety of those kids. I am also being harassed by my company. Unfortunately that is the choice we are forced to make. Principals, supervisors and company egos or the safety of the kids. I chose the kids and now I am paying for it. My biggest fear is that because the parents of the school bus riders are not aware of these situations someone will eventual pay with their life. Let you school or school district know how important your child’s safety is, ask for monitors, camera, anything that will keep your kids safe. A good bus driver welcomes these things because it allows them to concentrate on driving safely. Most of us are very protective of the kids we drive and would be devastated if they were injured or worse. Keep trying to get the word out there., Julie

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