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First Student Encourages Students and Motorists to Know the Danger Zone During National School Bus Safety Week
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First Student Encourages Students and Motorists to Know the Danger Zone During National School Bus Safety Week

October 18, 2021

Cincinnati — Despite being big in size and bright in color, it is not always easy to see all areas of a school bus. First Student joins the National Association of Pupil Transportation (NAPT) in raising awareness about school bus safety during National School Bus Safety Week, October 18 to 22. “Be Safe – Know the Danger Zone” is the theme for 2021.

It is difficult for a school bus driver and motorists to see a student who is in the danger zone. This area extends 12 feet from a school bus in all directions and includes the immediate front of the bus.

“While most of us are aware semi-trucks have large blind spots, few may realize that school buses do as well,” said Darryl Hill, senior vice president of safety and security at First Student. “Knowing the danger zone can help keep children and other motorists as safe as possible when school buses are on the road. All students must remain aware of where they are in relation to the school bus. They should stay in the bus driver’s sight until they are out of the danger zone, or if crossing the street, safely across the roadway.”

Motorists should stay back at least 10 feet any time a school bus is stopped or has its lights flashing. Passing a stopped school bus from behind as it loads and unloads children is illegal in all 50 states.

In the most recent national stop arm survey, the National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation Services (NASDPTS) tallied more than 95,000 stop-arm violations in just one day, equating to more than 17 million illegal passes over the course of a typical 180-day school year.

School buses are the safest way for students to get to and from school. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, school buses are approximately 70 times safer than passenger cars and 10 times safer than walking. Its design and high-tech safety features help school buses maintain this distinction.

First Student was the first in the industry to install GPS systems and crossing gates on school buses. The company has long been a pioneer in developing, designing and investing in cutting-edge technology to improve transportation services for school districts and bring peace of mind to families. Over the years, these innovations have also included driver tablets, digital cameras, an electronic reminder system designed to ensure no child is left unattended on a bus, and a bus-tracking app to alert parents to delays or issues.

NAPT sponsors National School Bus Safety Week every year during the third week of October. It is an active and evolving public education program that promotes the importance of school bus safety.

About First Student

As the leading school transportation solutions provider in North America, First Student strives to provide the best start and finish to every school day. First Student completes five million student journeys each day, moving more passengers than all U.S. airlines combined. With a team of highly-trained drivers and the industry’s strongest safety record, First Student delivers reliable, quality services including full-service transportation and management, special-needs transportation, route optimization and scheduling, maintenance, and charter services with a fleet of about 40,000 buses. For more information, please visit firststudentinc.com.

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