(Prescott) – Student Transportation of Eastern Ontario (STEO), the transportation consortium for the Catholic District School Board of Eastern Ontario (CDSBEO) and the Upper Canada District School Board (UCDSB), is joining other transportation consortia and school transportation companies across Ontario, in promoting the importance of school bus safety during School Bus Safety Week.
In Ontario, over 800,000 children and teenagers ride safely, in over 18,000 school buses, each day. Studies show that school buses are the safest method for transporting young people – up to 22 times safer than passenger cars. Student Transportation of Eastern Ontario operates approximately 800 school vehicles, which transport 33,000 students, across districts in Eastern Ontario daily.
STOP FOR SCHOOL BUS RED FLASHING LIGHTS. School Bus drivers are continuously reminded to be cautious especially when on and offboarding students but need the support of all motorists while performing their daily routes. School buses display red flashing lights and a stop sign that is extended from the side of the bus, to alert motorists to stop. The law requires motorists to stop in both directions for a school bus with the red lights flashing any time it has stopped to load or unload students.
The safety and wellbeing of the students is our number one priority. No issue is so urgent that motorists cannot take the time to wait for a school bus as they load and unload children.
Motorists can also take steps to support safe driving around buses, by scheduling additional time for morning traffic delays and obeying the distracted driving laws.
The team at STEO offers the following tips to students as they get on and off the bus:
- Be at the bus stop in plenty of time to avoid having to rush to catch the bus
- Always follow the driver’s directions for how to cross the street
- Always remain in the direct view of the bus driver
- Always cross in front of the bus, but only when the bus driver signals it is safe to do so
- Be alert to the traffic and look both ways when crossing
- When waiting for the bus stand back at least 2 big steps away from the curb and when exiting walk ten steps away from the bus.
- Never turn back to get anything you left on the bus or dropped on the ground
- Never reach underneath the bus; Remember if you can touch the bus you are too close
Bus operators throughout the region will be conducting contests and promotions in conjunction with local schools in support of School Bus Safety Week. Police departments throughout the region will also be diligent in ensuring drivers are following all rules and laws pertaining to bus safety.