Officials hope to keep school buses “the safest form of student transportation”

Local News

WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — More than 25 million children ride the yellow school bus each day across the nation and, children’s safety on those buses has always been the top priority.

National School Bus Safety Week serves as a reminder for students, motorists, bus operators and others to do their part in keeping the road safe for our kids.

For 13 years, Durham School Services has been trusted to transport Wichita Falls kids to and from school, field trips and more, so as you can imagine, ensuring the safety of about 2000 kids daily is the top priority.

“That kind of starts at the bus stop there’s that danger zone so making sure they are away from the bus when you pull up to pick them up, getting on in an orderly manner, making sure that they are in their seat,” Operations Supervisor Lance Ostermann said.

Ostermann has been transporting WFISD students for about five years now and said he has some simple rules which should keep each child safe and allow for easy access in case of emergency.

“In your seat facing forward out of the aisle,” Ostermann said. “Just keying in on those certain things if you’re hearing any kind of bullying issues making sure you’re taking care of that and ultimately if it’s something where it’s a danger you’re pulling the bus over and dealing with that issue.”

That is handled through the company’s student disciplinary program.

And while student discipline is one top safety measure, cars passing buses is still a major concern.

“Fortunately we’ve been very lucky that nobody has been injured or hurt at this time in Wichita Falls but if we continue on this trend then one of the people watching this T.V. Right now maybe in one of those accidents,” Durham Schoo Services General Manager Brian Gibson said.

As for the bus itself being safe, Gibson said Durham School Services is leading by example.

“We use technology like drive cam that turns on when force happens on the bus from a hard breaking, a quick turn, something like that where we need to see it and it sends us a video where we can watch it and talk to the driver and learn from that,” Gibson said.

The company also uses handheld electronic devices to track defects on the bus.

All of these tools, safety measures and laws are in place for the most important of reasons and that’s getting our kids to and from their destinations, safe and sound.

The motto for National School Bus Safety Week this year is “My School Bus, The Safest Form of Student Transportation!”

The hope is to keep it that way.

The single most common way mistakes motorists make is using their cellphones, being distracted while driving.

See how you can keep our kids safe by following this link.

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