Stop for the bus:
Our kids are worth the wait
FACED WITH A DANGEROUS rise in distracted driving, members of the Charlotte County Support Personnel Association wanted to alert their community to just how lethal it can be not to stop for a school bus when its flashers are on.
So, members of the PSRP affiliate in southwestern Florida undertook a two-week campaign this spring to draw the attention of motorists to the importance of driving carefully around school buses. They worked with businesses to put their message on marquees and display posters. They designed wonderful fliers, festooned with students’ drawings of school buses. Working with the public schools, they put out press releases, ads and letters—even a quiz on bus safety—all based on a free “STOP for the BUS” toolkit provided by the AFT.
A few weeks after the campaign, district school bus drivers conducted a survey of the community, also using the AFT toolkit. The result: Violations by drivers who ignored the school bus flashers fell dramatically, from 90 to 66, compared to the same period a year before. It was the lowest number of violations in the past three years.
There’s still room for improvement, CCSPA President Bonnie Bistarkey says. “Educating our citizens about the importance of stopping for the bus is critical to ensuring our students’ safety,” she says.
This year’s National School Bus Safety Week is Oct. 21-25, but you don’t have to wait to conduct a campaign like the PSRPs did in Florida. Contact PSRP@aft.org to find out more.
Reprinted from the Fall 2013 issue of PSRP Reporter.