This week, Conway Schools join with the State of Arkansas to promote School Bus Safety Week. But safety on buses is something that is a year-round effort.
“Safety on our school buses is a top priority,” says Ed Dow, Transportation Supervisor for Conway Public Schools. “We work year round to make sure we get all our kids to and from school safely each and every day.”
The Conway Public Schools Transportation Department works with our schools and community in several ways to promote bus safety.
Recently, “Buster the Bus” made visits to all nine Conway elementary schools. “Buster” is a robotic school bus equipped with load\unload lights, a stop sign, and crossing arm. He is interactive with the students…he can move around, open and close his eyes, wink, talk, move his eyes from side to side and most importantly, talk to students.
“Buster” is a big hit at the schools.
“We show the students how to go to and from the bus stop, how to prepare to cross the street, how to get on the bus, and how to behave on the bus,” says Dow. “We also talk about the area around the bus (the danger zone), and the areas that are safe around the bus. At the end of the presentation we take all the students and let them load and unload on a full size bus. The students get stickers that show they have gone through the presentation.”
School Administrators are thankful for the program.
“We always look forward to Buster the Bus visiting Ida Burns,” says Assistant Principal Tami Burcham. “Some of our younger students are very fearful about the big yellow school bus. When Buster comes, they get to experience the bus ride and learn important safety features that drivers might not have time to share with them.”
This is the third year of the program and it has been a great tool for the district.
Conway Public Schools also uses community awareness campaigns such as “Flashing Red, Kids Ahead” to remind drivers to stop for kids loading and unloading at bus stops.
“This is our biggest problem out on the roadways and we continue to ask drivers to watch for bus stop signs,” says Dow.
Arkansas School Bus Safety Week is October 19-23rd.