|School Bus Safety Week|
|Monday, 12 October 2009 00:00|
Sheriff Paul C. May has released the following information:
Case Officer: Cpl. Brian Hagan
Re: School Bus Safety Week
Sheriff Paul C. May is informing citizens that the National Association of Pupil Transportation (NAPT) has designated the week of October 19, 2009 to October 23, 2009 as School Bus Safety Week. School Bus Safety Week is a week used to heighten awareness of bus safety for our children.
Did you know that School buses have proven to be the safest method of transporting children to school? Each year 440,000 school buses transport 24 million children over 4.3 billion miles. There have been fewer fatalities (100 times fewer) on buses than any other means of transportation (private vehicles, bikes, and pedestrian). Statistic: Per 100,000 passengers the average is .01 fatalities for buses as compared to .96 for private vehicles and .06 for airlines. Last year only 5 children were killed on a school bus as a passenger, and these few deaths were from extreme crashes. Last year 29 children, nationwide, were killed as pedestrians getting on and off of school buses (The greatest majority of these children were struck as a direct result of inconsiderate motorists illegally passing stopped buses. During the week of October 19, 2009 through October 23, 2009, the Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Office will be assisting the Okeechobee School Bus Drivers with this particular aspect of safety, passing stopped buses.
School buses are required, by Federal Law, to have an 8 light warning system (4 yellow and 4 red flashing lights) to warn motorists of the bus stopping. In addition, buses have a stop arm that extends from the driver’s side of the bus. When a school bus is stopped, the lights flashing, and the stop arm extended; it is unlawful to pass that bus. During School Bus Safety Week, Okeechobee County Deputies will be assigned to certain areas in marked cruisers, motorcycles, and unmarked cars to catch and enforce violators of these laws. Florida statute 316.172 makes passing a stopped bus a moving infraction. Upon conviction the violator will be assigned 4 points to his/her license and fine $173 (or more). The violator may face the additional penalty of a mandatory county court appearance.
The National Association of Pupil Transportation (NAPT) is a non-profit organization with the mission of enhancing the safety of our nation’s children. Their objectives are: to inform local communities of the benefits of bus travel, conduct research regarding the safer and environmentally friendly school buses, and provide training and education for school transportation specialists. This organization can be contacted at: www.napt.org
For any further information, please contact:
Detective Ted Van Deman, Public Information Officer