Essay On School Bus Safety

Do kids know what it takes to be a school bus driver?

Surely most children aren’t aware of all the specific requirements — the training, the background checks, the testing, etc. But they do seem to understand that being a school bus driver is a tough job that not everyone is cut out for.

That’s one of the impressions I got as I was judging entries in the Children’s Choice School Bus Driver of the Year essay contest, which Thomas Built Buses conducts each year. Consider these comments from several of the essays:

•    “It takes up a lot of time for bus drivers to get up at 4:30 in the morning just for a bunch of children in need of transportation to get to school on time.”
•    “[My driver] has a really long day.”
•    “I know my bus driver (Kim) deserves to be bus driver of the year because instead she could be working as a cruise ship driver somewhere in Florida. But she’s not. Kim is here in rainy Portland, Oregon, driving kids to and from school and their houses.”
Many of the essay writers also recognized that part of what makes their drivers great is their actions beyond the job description:
•    “He always does trivia questions to make us smarter.”
•    “She will pray for you if you ask her.”
•    “I have seen him help a lot of people, especially the elderly, in his community. He mows people’s grass with no charge and he gives fresh vegetables from his garden.”
•    “Mrs. Leslie helps numerous families by providing dinner and different kinds of food, Christmas presents for the children who don’t have anything under the tree, and clothing that will keep them warm.”

Here are some other heartwarming and humorous highlights from the children’s essays:

• “When she is driving, she is careful and she doesn’t have road rage, like me!” (This was written by an 11-year-old.)
• “Try standing or moving seats when she lets other children off at their stops. Nice try, not going to happen.”
•    “If you feel sick, she will find a place to pull over and then she will give you her garbage can so you won’t have to get sick all over the bus.”
•    “My favorite part is not the candy or the handmade stuff. My favorite part is that he cares for me and all other people.”
•    “She takes very good care of the bus. She tapes up the holes in the seats of the bus!”
•    “She makes sure we are super safe and do not become roadkill!”
•    “One time I was having trouble with something, Ms. Julie waited till everyone got off the bus and allowed me to talk with her privately.”
•    “[She] allows us to talk on the bus, but when she says be quiet, you better believe that bus gets real quiet and quick.”
•    “Mrs. Edy has never crashed the bus.”
•    “My sister has autism and she works hard to learn to do the things that other kids can. My bus driver will sing a song sometimes to help the kids learn something. Like, one time this kid didn’t know how to put on her jacket, and she sang ‘you put your right arm in and then the left arm in to put your jacket on.’ She understands kids with autism.”
•    “Mrs. Leslie is a great example. She shows us how to love others.”

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School Bus Safety Essay

According to the National Center for Statistics and Analysis, since 1996, an estimated 1, 387 crashes were school-transportation related. This indicates that despite increased education, harsher laws for DWIs and similar crimes, and new slogans splayed on billboards and television ads such as “don’t drink and drive” and “buckle up”, these have largely fallen on deaf ears. A popular cartoon, The Simpsons illustrates this point best with Otto, the bus driver, often neglecting stop signs, driving wildly, and even having his license revoked. Current vehicle accidents could easily be avoided even if you have Otto as your bus driver, especially incidents relating to school-transportation if emergency procedures were followed and implemented. Thus, when we examine the topic of “Emergency Procedures, What do All School Bus Riders Need to Know?” we must first look at emergency bus evacuations drills, secondly how to use emergency equipment, and lastly, what to do in the event that a bus driver is incapacitated.

Recently at my high school due to new Texas Legislation entitled “School Bus Emergency Evacuation Training” amending Sec. 34.0021, we had a school-wide training session for both teachers and students regarding emergency procedures. This effectively ensured that during necessary evacuation drills, the entire student body and faculty would be able to leave and enter school buses in an orderly manner. All school bus riders were required to do two different drills once we left the school. The first drill consisted of the first half of the bus leaving through the double-doors next to the bus driver and the second half of the bus sitting and scooting out the emergency exit. The second drill entailed all persons on the bus sitting and scooting from the rear emergency exit with necessary assistance to those hindered by crutches or other impediments. Although these drills may have seemed repetitive and downright unnecessary, tragic accidents such as the one that occurred on September 21, 1989 have been avoided. In Alton, Texas, a Coca-Cola delivery truck collided with a school bus over a bridge resulting in the total blockage of the front door and only one rear emergency exit. On a bus with 81 students, 21 died from drowning and three received major injuries. Unfortunately, laws set in place in 1989 did not mandate more emergency doors, but today’s generation seems to take these and other precautions for granted.

In addition to more emergency doors and a limited occupancy on the bus, knowledge of where safety equipment is located and...

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