Safety is the highest priority for school bus drivers, so much so they are helping educate the public during National School Bus Safety Week.
Held annually during the third full week in October, National School Bus Safety Week is a public education intended for parents, students, teachers, motorists, school bus operators, school administrators and other interested parties in order to address the importance of school bus safety, according to its website.
“Typically, it’s always ignored,” Sand Springs Public Schools bus driver and trainer Sherry Sanders said of NSBSW. “People tend to not even know it’s a thing. But one thing all drivers have in common is the safety of students.”
“Red Lights Mean STOP!” is the theme for this year in order to increase cooperation from fellow motorists when school busses come to a stop picking up or dropping off students. Sanders said motorists sometimes ignore the bus signals, which can make for a dangerous situation.
“Just be aware, notice wear the school zones are for their safety,” Sanders said. “It’s our future generation coming up.”
COVID-19 has brought a heightened awareness to school bus safety for SSPS drivers as well. Protocols implemented include mandatory mask usage for drivers and students while on board. Hand sanitizer is available on each bus for both drivers and students. Drivers are required to sanitize busses with a skin-safe solution after every bus load. All students have assigned seating in order to promote social distancing. Other SSPS administrators who transport students to various activities are required to follow similar guidelines.
“We have very dedicated drivers who are very dedicated to their kids,” Sanders said.
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