Each year during the third full week of October, communities across the nation celebrate National School Bus Safety Week. It’s an opportunity for the school transportation community in particular to talk about the value of the school bus and educate others about school bus safety. This year’s theme, “Be Safe, Know the Danger Zone,” encourages students and motorists to be mindful of the potentially devastating results of getting within the 12-foot area around the outside of the school bus.
Huyen Pham, a 7th grade student at the Northbrook Middle School in Atlanta, GA, has been selected the winner of the 2020-21 National School Bus Safety Poster Contest. Pham’s artwork was selected best among entries from 13 different states.
To emphasize the importance of avoiding danger zone risk, the American School Bus Council (ASBC) has been circulating danger zone media and resources all month to foster conversation. “National school bus safety week is a unique opportunity for school transportation professionals to educate others about school bus safety,” said Mike Martin, Executive Director of the National Association for Pupil Transportation (NAPT). “This year’s theme reminds students, pedestrians, and motorists why it’s important to be particularly mindful of the danger zone around every school bus.”
The annual observance—which was spearheaded by a California transportation director named Richard E. Fischer in 1960—is celebrated nationwide with rotating themes that offer something for just about everyone. Last year’s safety week promoted the many safety benefits of the school bus. Prior years covered topics including stop arm laws, bullying, and safety awareness around a moving bus. Next year, the focus will be on how school bus drivers are making an impact on education.
As the theme for National School Bus Safety Week changes each year, information about school bus safety also evolves. Technology improves, emerging data is released, and conversations about school bus safety continue.
“With students back in the classroom again, we value the school bus with renewed perspective,” said Ronna Weber, Executive Director of the National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation Services (NASDPTS). “That’s why it’s important to celebrate safety week in your school bus community.”
“School bus safety week is an opportunity to recognize the importance of our highly-trained drivers and celebrate the impact of the yellow school bus on education and safety,” said Curt Macysyn, Executive Director of the National School Transportation Association (NSTA). “By continuing the conversation about school bus safety, we can keep the yellow school bus at the top of the list for transporting children safely back and forth to school.”
The members of ASBC encourage everyone to participate in National School Bus Safety Week and start the conversation about Danger Zone safety in your community. Please visit napt.org/nsbsw for more information, and be sure to tag ASBC in your social media posts.
National School Bus Safety Week is October 18-22, 2021.