School Bus Safety Week begins Monday

By STEVEN CALHOUN/Staff Writer

Chilton County Schools will observe School Bus Safety Week from Oct. 17-21.

According to Jason Griffin, Chilton County Schools’ Transportation Director, students will take part in a variety of activities to help educate them on transportation safety.

Bus safety slogans will be on signs around the school, kindergarten students will color pages about buses, and drivers and schools will emphasize the need for safety around buses.

“During School Bus Safety Week, we want to inform the people of Chilton County about our transportation program,” said Griffin.

Safety in transit to schools is often taken for granted. Parents send their children out the door in a blur of backpacks, packed lunches, coffee and papers, trusting they will make it to school and back each day.

This program does not just happen; it has taken hard work by bus drivers, law enforcement and legislators to make school transportation safe. Chilton County Schools has over 100 bus routes that transport more than 5,000 students to and from school each day, according to Griffin.

“Our law enforcement agencies … have done an excellent job enforcing the stop arm law and prosecuting those who violate it,” said Griffin.

According to Griffin, drivers violating the school bus stop law are the most common issue. The law is in place to protect students getting on and off buses, and is vital in a county with a less than stellar track record recently.

Chilton County was in the upper third of all counties in Alabama for traffic fatalities per 100,000 people in 2015, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

This leaves much room for improvement among the county’s drivers, and makes it all the more important to follow traffic regulations and be aware on the road.

“When drivers don’t stop, they put our students’ lives in danger,” said Griffin. “Our school bus drivers are doing a great job, but we need everyone’s help, including other drivers.”

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