• 66°

Stop! School buses are serious business

By By Chandler Myers
Hundreds of children in the Atmore area returned to school last week with the high majority of those children hopping on the “Big Yellow Cheesewagon” to make the trek back to school.
According to 2008 statistics from the School Transportation News (Web site), more than 500,000 buses provided service nationwide with an estimated 26 million elementary and secondary school students making the round trip everyday to and from school.
With so many students around the nation riding a school bus, it is understandable why school bus laws have been a focus of the state and federal government.
In 2006, Gov. Bob Riley signed the School Bus Safety Bill into effect, which outlined that unless drivers are on the opposite side of a divided highway they must stop for a school bus unloading children or they would face punishments.
Bill Mosley, Escambia County (Ala.) transportation supervisor, said that people running stop signs is the largest complaint he receives.
With school starting last week, school bus safety is something that all drivers must review to ensure that students are as safe as possible during their trips.
Mosley said the first week went well with the exception of some minor incidents that were easy to correct.
Also coming with the start of school are two new safety features as well as a new rule for adults to follow.
Recently installed on the buses were new camera systems that record to a Digital Video Recorder (DVR) as well as a system called “No Child Left Behind.”
Mosley said the new systems each have their own benefits to protect students.
The new rule that has been put in place requires adults to stay off the bus unless instructed otherwise.
Mosley said this rule includes parents and guardians.