Maine Schools Join Others Around The Nation to Recognize National School Bus Safety Week October 21-25

Drawings of school buses with text: "My School bus, the safest form of student transportation!"!"

National School Bus Safety Week, scheduled October 21-25 this year, is a public education program that promotes school bus safety. 

Nationally, each day about 480,000 school buses travel the nation’s roads transporting about 25,000,000 students to and from schools and school-related activities. This makes school buses the largest mass transportation program in the nation. 

2019 National School Bus Safety Week theme: My School Bus, The Safest Form of Student Transportation!  The theme is derived from the Poster contest the year before.  The 2018 winning poster, depicted above, was drawn by Shivangi Ojha, an 8th Grader at Belton ISD in Temple, Texas. 

In Maine, there are about 3,000 school buses traveling about 30,000,000 miles per year and delivering about 140,000 students. While national ridership of school buses is about fifty percent, about eighty percent of Maine students ride the school bus. Local school transportation teams throughout Maine will educate the public about school bus safety and local transportation safety training during National School Bus Safety Week. 

Transportation is a great equalizer in education, providing students from all economic backgrounds with the opportunity to learn and succeed. Additionally, as pointed out by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration U.S. Department of Transportation, “School buses are by far the safest way for children to get to and from school.” 

School buses are specifically designed and engineered for safety in order to protect occupants against crashes and incidents on the road. Nearly every part of a school bus has higher standards of safety when compared to ordinary cars. The following school bus safety features are not found on any other passenger vehicle: 

  • School bus seats are above the crash line so that the impact of a vehicle colliding with a school bus hits beneath the seated passengers
  • Passenger seating and crash protection are required for school bus seating systems 
  • A steel cage around the fuel tank that provides bus fuel system integrity 
  • Emergency exits are provided by way of doors, windows and roof hatches 
  • Bus body joint strength that specifies the minimum strength of the joints between panels of the bus body and the body structure 
  • Rollover protection that specifies the minimum structural strength of buses in rollover-type crashes 

More information about National School Bus Safety Week can be found here: https://www.napt.org/nsbsw 

For information about school transportation policy, contact Transportation and Facilities Administrator Pat Hinckley at pat.hinckley@maine.gov 

The National School Bus Safety Week public education program is sponsored by the National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation Services (NASDPTS), National School Transportation Association (NSTA), National Association for Pupil Transportation (NAPT), Pupil Transportation Safety Institute (PTSI) and school bus manufacturers and suppliers.