Why does safety stop on the bus?

Published 12:00 am Friday, October 24, 2008

Almost each day in almost every city, our children are at risk, and the world just drives by without much concern.

Most drivers rarely stop and give a second thought to the big, yellow buses.

In fact, in many cases, drivers view school buses as merely traffic obstacles that must be avoided to eliminate unnecessary delays.

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School buses are painted yellow to give drivers notice of the need for caution, not simply to be easier to spot the potential time lag.

A bus wreck in Vidalia underscores the danger. More than 40 children were taken to local hospitals, and the driver remains hospitalized.

For too many years, our society has not provided the highest level of safety for our nation’s most precious cargo — our children.

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration recently provided new school bus regulations for 2011, including higher seat backs and some provisions for seat belts.

While the changes are improvements, perhaps we should rethink our entire focus on student transportation.

Many new passenger cars have front and side airbags and state-of-the-art collision avoidance systems, yet our school buses generally have far less safety technology.

Until we change our focus, our children will continue to be at risk, each day the buses hit the streets with anything less than the best technology money can buy.