National School Bus Safety Week 2023

(ABC 6 News) – According to multiple sources, the week originated in California in the 60s before becoming national in 1970. The goal is to address the importance of school bus safety, both while riding the bus and especially at the bus stop.

Andrew Foell at First Student in Rochester considers a school bus to be the safest mode of transportation to and from school.

Not only because of how well it fairs in accidents. The color of the school bus makes it safe, too. Foell, the Location Safety Manager at First Student, explains why. “The reason that color was picked was because the eye recognizes that more quickly than any other color.”

In addition to the color of the school bus, the amber lights are meant to signal that the bus is coming to a stop in between 100-300 feet. If the bus is traveling 35 MPH or faster, the driver must turn their amber lights on at least 300 feet in advance.

Foell was driving a bus one time when a driver made a dangerous mistake that could have potentially injured or killed a student. Foell drove the bus and turned his amber lights on well in advance of him stopping. “The vehicle behind me clearly knew I was going to be coming to a stop, and chose to go around me on the shoulder of the road,” Foell said. “I had to grab the student by their backpack and shut the door to keep them safe.”

First Student and all bus drivers want to remind people to make sure to stop when the school bus is loading or unloading students, and make sure students arrive at least five minutes before the scheduled time a bus is supposed to arrive as people are more prone to accidents when in a hurry.