The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

October 25, 2012

Transportation director says rules can go a long way

By Sarah Plummer
Register-Herald Reporter

— Raleigh County Schools Transportation Director Gary Daniel said making sure students know behavior expectations and rules can go a long way to ensure students are safe. One way they accomplish this is with Buster the School Bus.

Daniel said elementary schools can plan for a visit from Buster who, operated and voiced by one of the drivers, interacts with another driver and the students for an interactive lesson on bus safety.

He said the program is good for all grade school students, but is particularly beneficial for pre-k through second grade.

“They take the students out to the bus and teach them how to get on the bus safely, how to find their seat, and why it is important to stay seated. And older students who cross the road to get off the bus must walk 10 feet in front of the bus, wait for the driver’s thumbs-up, walk across the first lane and again wait for the driver’s second thumb-up before crossing the lane with oncoming traffic.

“The kids just love this program, especially our preschoolers,” he said.

Daniel noted that having four-year-olds ride the bus is a relatively new and growing safety concern with around 6 or 7 pre-k students riding each bus.

Parents of these young students must be present at bus stops to put the kids on and pick them up from the bus each day.

Currently the county is holding an elementary school Bus Safety Poster Contest and students are creating and submitting posters from across the county to be judge as a part of National School Bus Safety Week.