Thursday, August 25, 2011
KARE 11 Bus Safety Video
Here is the story from the KARE 11 web site:
BURNSVILLE, Minn. -- On any given school day, there are 14,000 school buses on Minnesota roads, each carrying children and an important safety message.
The Haddorff siblings have enjoyed their summer off. But with the new school year about to start at Sioux Trail Elementary in Burnsville, the kids are enjoying their sneak peak at what could be their next sweet ride - the school bus.
"It's fun to ride the bus and see all your friends," Brooke Haddorff said.
They walk together to meet the school bus every morning which is relatively uneventful on a quiet street. But when the bus gets to busy Highway 13, traffic changes.
"There's a lot of adults rushing to get to get to work. There's maybe a little bit of chaos," says Luke.
There are so many distractions for drivers. Schools try to make it obvious kids are around, but it's tough to compete with the rush to catch a green light.
Authorities investigate hundreds of crashes involving school buses every year.
Tuesday, officials offered a reminder: When school starts, watch out for the big yellow buses.
Doug Grisim is president of the Minnesota School Bus Operators Association and has been behind the wheel for more than 30 years.
"It's a passion," says Grisim.
Doug has several tips for drivers:
1. Amber lights on a school bus mean a stop is imminent so slow down.
2. Red lights on the bus mean stop.
3. And when you stop, make it at least 20 feet away.
4. And don't forget to be wary of the ten foot danger zone around the bus.
"The basic site lines are really good, but the areas right up in front can be very difficult to have a sight line to see when kids are crossing," Grisim added.
Also, pay attention to kids walking to the bus stop. You will likely see them before they see you.
Grisim also added something else for parents to keep in mind. Despite some crashes, he said school buses are still eight times safer to ride in than passenger vehicles.
"If they are properly seated in front or rear crash, the seats are made to absorb the energy made by a body moving," says Doug.
"This is our most precious commodity that's riding the bus," said Sioux Trail principal Taber Akin. "We want them to be as safe as possible on those buses."
For more information about school bus safety and to see inspection numbers for your child's school district, visit the Minnesota Department of Safety's website.
(Copyright 2011 by KARE. All Rights Reserved.)