School bus industry encourages parents and children to ‘Love the Bus’

Parents, students and teachers are celebrating the men and women from the Delavan-Darien School District who take more than 2,000 children safely to schools in the communities each day as part of the fourth annual National Love the Bus program this February.

The Love the Bus program, founded in 2007 and coordinated by the American School Bus Council (ASBC), is celebrated on Valentine’s Day and throughout February in school districts across the country as a way to raise awareness and appreciation for the hundreds of thousands of school bus drivers who safely transport more than 26 million school children to and from school each day. It is also an opportunity for parents and children to learn more about the safety and environmental benefits of school bus transportation.

“We want to honor the bus drivers that safely take the children in Delavan and Darien to school each day,” said Elizabeth Spreier, manager of the Delavan bus terminal for Dousman Transport Company. “Love the Bus is a great opportunity to thank the people that protect our most precious cargo—our children—and serve as role models on the 480,000 school buses that transport children to and from school each day across the country.”

To help celebrate Love the Bus, parents, teachers and children are encouraged to visit the program’s Web site, www.LoveTheBus.com, to share stories about their favorite bus drivers, and make interactive valentines to email or print and give to their bus driver on Valentine’s Day, Feb. 14.

Educators also may log on to the website and download an educator’s toolkit, which provides details on incorporating Love The Bus into their lesson plans and offers best practices for communicating about pupil transportation.

Bus drivers receive specialized classroom and behind-the-wheel training in driving a school bus, student loading/unloading procedures, student evacuation, student behavior and security management, and emergency medical procedures. School districts and companies that manage school bus fleets carefully monitor bus drivers, with some drivers disqualified from driving a bus for as few as two traffic violations. All school bus drivers are also required to participate in pre-employment, random and post-accident drug and alcohol testing, frequent driving record checks, and pass periodic medical exams to ensure they are physically qualified.

In addition to the qualified drivers, school buses are, by far, the safest vehicles on the road, with a safety record confirmed by government authorities to be better than any other form of transportation. School buses are designed and constructed with more safety features than any other vehicle, and the school transportation industry works continually to incorporate the latest technology, training and testing to keep school buses safe.

Throughout February, the American School Bus Council and its members will hold a series of local events across the United States to educate parents and children about school bus safety.

To learn more about the benefits of school bus safety, visit www.americanschoolbuscouncil.com.

About the American School Bus Council

The American School Bus Council is a coalition of the school transportation industry — including public and private transportation providers, school bus manufacturers and state officials responsible for pupil transportation. Council members are committed to providing safe, effective, efficient and healthy transportation for the more than 26 million schoolchildren who ride more than 480,000 school buses each day. In 2007, the Council began implementing the annual national Love the Bus campaign each February to raise awareness and appreciation for hundreds of thousands of school bus drivers nationwide who safely transport our nation’s children to school each day.

The Council’s members include NAPT (National Association for Pupil Transportation), NASDPTS (National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation Services), NSTA (National School Transportation Association), Blue Bird Corp. of Fort Valley, Ga., IC Corporation of Warrenville, Ill., and Thomas Built Buses of High Point, N.C.

The American School Bus Council was formed in 2006 to educate parents, school officials and lawmakers about the essential role the yellow school bus plays in the safety, health, security and readiness of America’s schoolchildren. Council members advocate for increased school transportation funding and advances industry standards on safety, security, environment, energy and access to education that are above and beyond state and federal law.

For more information, visit www.americanschoolbuscouncil.org.

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