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First Student and National Safety Council Join Together to Keep Students Safe
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First Student and National Safety Council Join Together to Keep Students Safe

September 1, 2012

CINCINNATI — First Student, the largest provider of student transportation services in North America, has partnered with the National Safety Council to once again share important back-to-school safety information at It also is important for all motorists to be aware of how to share the roads safely with school buses and in school zones. According to First Student, last year it celebrated its safest year ever. First Student intends to exceed that level of safety again this year with the help of the National Safety Council by spreading these important messages.

 “We are so pleased to partner with the National Safety Council on this important back-to-school program,” said Gary Catapano, senior vice president of safety for First Student. “Millions of students will return to school this fall, and it’s crucial that parents and motorists are prepared to help them return to class safely and securely.”

Back-to-school safety encompasses a variety of topics in addition to roadway safety. NSC and First Student have provided fact sheets covering important safety topics such as tips for first-time riders, safety on and around the bus, safety tips for motorists, tips to address bullying, teen driving safety, playground safety and backpack safety. Tips include:

If they haven’t met, parents should introduce themselves and their child to the bus driver

  • Before crossing the street, everyone should stop and look all ways to see if cars are coming
  • If something is dropped near the bus, tell the bus driver – never try to pick it up first as the driver may not be able to see you
  • When on the bus, find a seat and sit down – loud talking or other noise can distract the bus driver
  • Don’t overstuff a backpack; it should weigh no more than 10 to 20 percent of your child’s body weight
  • More children are injured falling off climbing equipment or horizontal ladders than anything else on the playground – children under 4 shouldn’t play on this equipment and older kids should be watched
  • Kids are often reluctant to tell adults about bullying because they are ashamed, embarrassed or fearful of retaliation, so it is important to praise them for being brave enough to speak up

 “The safety of your family is your highest priority,” said Janet Froetscher, NSC president and CEO. “As children head back to school, parents can use these tools to have the conversations needed to keep their children safe on the bus, at school and as they come back home each day.”

 You also can find public service announcements on the following subjects:

About the National Safety Council

Founded in 1913 and chartered by Congress, the National Safety Council ( is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to save lives by preventing injuries and deaths at work, in homes and communities, and on the road through leadership, research, education and advocacy. NSC advances this mission by partnering with businesses, government agencies, elected officials and the public in areas where we can make the most impact – distracted driving, teen driving, workplace safety and safety beyond the workplace.