Tuesday, August 12, 2008

School Has Started

School has started here in my corner of the world. The small people get on the big yellow buses and we as parents and grandparents think they are safe going to and coming home from the school. But, and this is a huge BUT!, they are not safe at all.

My sister owns and drives an 18 passenger bus. On this size bus everyone is required to wear a seatbelt. My daughter drives for a huge city bus company. She drives an 80 passenger bus. Only the driver of these monstrosities is required to be seatbelted.

One of the buses in the line my daughter drives for got hit in the ribs last spring. Children were thrown all over the bus, mostly because they were not confined by the seatbelts. Their injuries and the ambulances required to haul them to the hospital for treatment of bruises and scrapes need not have happened. The driver of this bus, an older gentleman, suffered a heart attack and can no longer drive.

One of the reasons this accident happened is planting or failure to prune bushes planted too close to an intersection. The bus driver could not see the oncoming pickup truck. The truck driver slammed on his brakes but it was far too late to prevent him from hitting the bus in the middle. He, too, suffered a heart attack from the accident.

When you see these buses, they are big and yellow, think about safety of the small people in them. Slow down, if the caution lights are on, slow even more. If the stop lights are on, DO NOT PASS them. Stop until all the small people are across the road or street. There is a reason for having caution lights and stop lights on buses. It is the safety of our children.

Someone asked why the tops of most of the new buses are not yellow but white. There are numerous reasons including it absorbs less heat. But the main reason is the reflection of light off this huge yellow and white object might help people to slow down and not hit the big yellow school bus!

Use extreme caution when there is a school bus in the vicinity or you are in the vicinity of a school zone. We want our children to be safe traveling to and from school and while they are there.

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