2020 National School Bus Safety Week theme: Red Lights Mean Stop! The theme is derived from the Poster Contest the year before. The 2019 winning poster, depicted above, was drawn by Bryan Torres-Tavarez, a 12th Grader at Stars Academy in Paterson, NJ.
National School Bus Safety Week, scheduled October 19-23 this year, is a public education program that acknowledges the value of school bus safety. It is also a great time to THANK our bus drivers for the important work that they do.
Transportation is a great equalizer in education, providing students from all economic backgrounds with the opportunity to learn and succeed. NHTSA believes school buses should be as safe as possible. That’s why NHTSA safety standards for school buses are above and beyond those for regular buses. School buses are the most regulated vehicles on the road.
School buses are different by design. They are designed and engineered so that they’re highly visible and include safety features such as flashing red lights, cross-view mirrors and stop-sign arms. They also include protective seating, high crush standards, and rollover protection features.
In Maine, each school bus must be inspected biannually by an official inspection station designated by the Chief of the State Police as a school bus inspection station. In addition, a school bus inspection must be conducted by the State Police at least annually. That is three a year.
School buses are protected by law. Laws protect students who are getting off and on a school bus by making it illegal for drivers to pass a school bus while dropping off or picking up passengers, regardless of the direction of approach.
In Maine, school bus safety laws support good driving behavior. These laws include:
- Passing a stopped school bus with its red lights flashing is a criminal violation punishable by a $250 minimum fine for the first offense and a mandatory 30-day license suspension for the second offense occurring within three years of the first offense.
- A vehicle may not proceed until the school bus resumes motion or until signaled by the bus operator that it is okay to proceed.
- A school bus operator who observes someone illegally passing a stopped school bus can report violations to a law enforcement officer.
- School buses are required to stop at railroad crossings.
- Unless otherwise posted, the school zone speed limit is 15 miles per hour during school opening or closing hours, as well as recess.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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.