CINCINNATI — As wintry weather sets in, First Student, Inc., North America’s largest provider of school bus transportation, reminds parents, student passengers and motorists of important winter safety information.Snow and ice can make road conditions hazardous.Parents are reminded that according to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, school buses are the safest way to get to and from school; nearly 10 times safer than walking to school and as much as 7 times safer than traveling in a passenger vehicle.
First Student drivers participate in a comprehensive training program which includes preparation for driving in inclement weather and adverse conditions. Each First Student bus undergoes a monthly maintenance review and yearly examination to ensure it is functioning at optimal safety and service standards.Drivers also conduct a pre-trip bus inspection every day before they begin their routes. First Student buses are designed to provide maximum safety every day, even in extreme weather conditions.
First Student offers these winter weather safety tips:
- Motorists should use extra precaution when approaching or following a school bus as they make frequent stops loading and unloading students.Laws in all states require motorists to stop when the school bus stop arm is extended and red lights are flashing.
- Students who walk to or wait at school bus stops should dress appropriately for cold, icy weather.Proper outerwear includes warm coats, gloves, hats and waterproof footwear.Passengers should not wear clothes with toggles or dangling key chains as they can get caught in the bus doors or on the handrail.
- Passengers should wait for the bus to stop completely before approaching the bus to get on or before standing up to get off. Always use caution when stepping on or off the bus.
- Students should never run after the bus.Plan ahead and allow sufficient time to get to the bus stop.
- Parents and students should check with their school, school district or emergency closing alert system for any schedule delays or cancellations.Information can generally be found on school websites, and many districts use a phone alert system to announce changes to school or bus schedules.School delays or closings may occur when officials determine that weather conditions are too severe to ensure safe travel to and from school.
Gary Catapano, senior vice president of safety for First Student says, “The safety and security of the four million students we transport to and from each day is our core value. During the winter months, we urge all motorists to stay alert and use extra precaution when on the roads. Yellow buses are transporting the most precious cargo of all.”