More than one million children ride school buses in California every day.
The California Highway Patrol joined the observation of National School Bus Safety Week earlier in October to help recognize that school buses are the safest way for children to get to and from school.
“It takes a collective effort from the public, transportation professionals, government agencies, law enforcement, parents, and children to continue to protect California’s students,” CHP Commissioner Joe Farrow said. “The fact that California has not had a pupil passenger fatality in 20 years is no accident. “
The CHP helps protect student safety through its School Bus Program and school bus inspection program.
The School Bus Program includes an array of tests for bus drivers, criminal investigations, health qualifications, and interviews with CHP officers.
The Department of Education and the Department of Motor Vehicles also set standards for bus drivers.
The CHP is responsible for inspecting more than 24,000 school buses each year. In the fiscal year 2012-2013, these buses traveled 254.3 million miles - about the distance from the Earth to Mars.
“California may have the best pupil passenger safety record in the nation, but we always need the help of the driving public,” Farrow said. “When the flashing red lights and stop arm on a school bus are activated, drivers are required by law to stop until the flashing red lights stop and the arm has been deactivated.
“If they can do so safely,” Farrow added, “people should also report drivers who illegally pass school buses. Most important of all slow down and watch for children around school buses.”