National School Bus Safety Week is here, marking a dedicated effort to promote safety in school transportation. This annual initiative brings together the Fort Campbell community, including parents, students, teachers and motorists, to emphasize the crucial importance of school bus safety.
School buses are among the safest modes of transportation for children. Their design prioritizes safety and surpasses passenger vehicles in crash avoidance and injury prevention. Teaching children the importance of following safety rules on the bus is paramount, and helps ensure their well-being during the journey to and from school. As students return from fall break, school buses, bikes, and pedestrians share Fort Campbell roads with other vehicles.
"Teaching children to stand back, at least three giant steps away from the curb, and waiting patiently at the bus stop ensures a secure boarding process,” said Lt. Nicholas Pietila, traffic supervisor, traffic management and collision investigations division, Installation Provost Marshal Office. “Our collective responsibility extends beyond driving; it involves instilling safety habits that last a lifetime."
Parents are urged to adhere to specific drop-off procedures for the safety of all. Avoid double parking, and be sure to load or unload children on the correct side of the street. These measures contribute to smoother and safer mornings for everyone.
Driving behind a school bus requires extra caution, to ensure safe following distance. Motorists must stop whenever a school bus’s yellow lights are flashing. Illegal passing of a stopped school bus is illegal nationwide.
Research by the National Safety Council highlights the vulnerability of children aged 4 to 7 who are walking near schools. To safeguard them, the community is reminded to avoid blocking crosswalks, yield to pedestrians in school zones, respect school patrol officers and crossing guards, and exercise caution in areas with flashing lights.
Cyclists share equal rights and responsibilities with drivers on the road. When overtaking a cyclist, proceed with care, remaining attentive to turns and yield appropriately. Exercise heightened caution, particularly in school zones and neighborhoods where kids might emerge unexpectedly from driveways or concealed areas.
"Remember, slowing down in school zones and being vigilant around buses are not just rules; they are a commitment to the well-being of our precious passengers,” Pietila said. “Together, we can ensure the well-being of our children and contribute to a thriving and secure environment.”