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Brown Local’s transportation supervisor puts school bus safety into “right on” perspective

FPS staff report

Brown Local SchoolsRod Wise, transportation supervisor for Brown Local School District, along with hundreds of transportation directors across the State of Ohio are recognizing National Bus Safety Week Oct. 21 -25. 

School bus drivers are responsible for the safety of millions of precious cargo, the students.  Wise shared some interesting facts the general public may not know about the position of school bus driver.

•Ohio has over 17,000 buses transporting over one-million students more than one-million miles daily.  The school bus is the safest way to transport children to and from school; even safer than the family car, due to compartmental seating.

•Bus drivers in Ohio must attend a week of classroom training and 12 hours or more of road training; then pass state testing on all.  They must pass an annual physical, criminal background checks and drug testing, all before they can transport a student.  Every six years, each driver must go through a recertification program and again be tested on all aspects.

•By law, schools must transport all K-8 grade students but are not required to transport 9-12 grade students.

•The school is not required to transport students living within two-miles of the school.

•By law, students must be at their designated bus stop prior to the bus arriving. The bus doesn’t have to stop if there are no students already there.

•Parents are responsible for their child’s safety to and from, and while waiting at the bus stop.

“The driver’s worst fear is something tragic happening to children under their care. The stress of realizing one moment of distraction or inattention can bring tragedy, moves us to constantly focus on safety first,” said Wise.  “A child’s distracting behavior can put everyone on the bus in danger, which is the most compelling reason to have parental support when addressing bus misbehavior.

“If you were to give an adult a class of 60 kids and say to them, ‘Now turn your back and manage their behavior; teach them through a mirror while driving a $90,000, 30,000 pound gross vehicle weight vehicle,’ most adults would laugh at you,” he continued.  “But that is what school bus drivers do everyday!”

Wise said to all school bus drivers, “No matter what part of the school bus industry you are in, you are part of the respected calling to protect the most important cargo America transports:  the nation’s children.  You are valuable and important to students.  You directly touch the lives of students who ride our school buses.”

“School bus drivers transport all sorts of children, in all sorts of weather, in all sorts of neighborhoods with a single goal:  Safety,” Wise stated.

Brown Local School District has six route buses which carry around 450 students approximately 486 miles each school day.

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