By Patricia Martin
The start of school has the motoring public seeing lots of yellow. It fascinates me that so many people take notice of the buses moving about town and country roads. Did you know that the school bus is one of the safest vehicles on the road. Their construction is highly regulated to keep all the students safe and the construction of the interior of the bus and the heights of the seats are all designed to keep the kids safe. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration less than one percent of all traffic fatalities involve children in school transportation vehicles. However, the risk for children is much higher as they are approaching or leaving a school bus. It’s important for parents and caregivers to assist the drivers in keeping the children safe. Ohio revised code states that children are to wait in a designated place of safety prior to the bus arriving and stand in that place of safety when they are getting off the bus until the bus pulls away. Why? You may be asking. Well, I would love to share with you what is all going on. The driver is doing multiple things all at once. Keeping a constant eye on traffic, counting students, and doing regulated procedures on the bus including checking to see that all students are properly seated, checking each mirror, and counting all students in their spots of safety and pulling away from the stop in a manner that does not put anyone in harm’s way. The men and woman that have made the commitment to the children and families of our community are an extraordinary group of individuals. These people rise and prepare for their day while many are still asleep. They come to work and inspect their vehicles for safety defects every morning. They are often the unsung heroes, being the first to greet the students each morning and the last one to bid them good evening. They often wear the hats of nurse, friend, coach, mediator, teacher, and mentor.
One of the interesting things about the Greenville City Schools transportation department is this group of dedicated drivers truly cares about their students. I have heard them proudly say “that is one of my kiddos.” Many students have the same driver year after year and the drivers get the opportunity to watch them grow and make the transition to adulthood.
Every year the K-3 students are required to do bus safety training at the school in the first 2 weeks. Angela Beumer and Michael Woody were the two bus drivers that did this training with the students this year. It is a fantastic opportunity for the students to get instruction and ask questions. They discussed safe distances from the school bus, how you should sit on the bus, watching for important hand signals from the bus driver and looking around before crossing the road to your place of safety.
Greenville City School District is always looking for more wonderfully dedicated people to drive our students on routes or on academic and athletic trips. If you are interested in learning more about what it takes to be a part of the amazing team, please call 937-548-3185 and press 7 to speak to someone in Transportation.