Gov. Kelly proclaims Oct. 21 School Transportation Day

(Adam Wesley/The Gazette-KCRG TV9)
(Adam Wesley/The Gazette-KCRG TV9)(KCRG)
Published: Oct. 17, 2020 at 12:14 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - In Kansas 4,043 bus drivers transported students during the 2019-2020 school year.

The Kansas State Department of Education says School bus transportation employees play an important part in the safety of Kansas kids. It said in the 2019-2020 school year, 4,043 bus drivers transported 223,705 students over 60.5 million miles. It said in order to honor their work, Kansas Governor Laura Kelly has designated Oct. 21 as School Transportation Day.

According to the KSDE, the day coincides with National School Bus Safety Week, Oct. 19-23. It said the week takes place in the third full week of October each year and is designated to promote school bus safety.

The KSDE said the theme for 2020′s campaign is “Red Lights Mean STOP!” It said the theme is taken from a 2019 national poster contest. It said the winning poster shows a student getting on a school bus and was drawn by Bryan Torres-Tavarez, who was a 12th-grade student at Stars Academy in Paterson, N.J., in 2019.

According to the KSDE, Kansas also hosts a yearly school bus safety poster contest. It said the 2020 winners were Aevan Huddleston, a second-grade student at Augusta USD 402 during the 2019-2020 school year, and Emma Lightner, an eighth-grade student at Garden City USD 457 during the same school year.

The KSDE said 2019 kicked off the Stop on Reds, Kids Ahead school bus safety campaign to help bring awareness to the Kansas school bus stop arm law.

According to the KSDE, Kansas law requires all drivers to stop when approaching or overtaking a stopped school bus displaying its flashing red lights and stop arm. It said drivers are to stay stopped until the bus is no longer displaying the flashing red lights and stop arm. It said breaking this law is punishable by a fine and court costs of over $420.

The KSDE said in April of 2019, bus drivers reported 1,040 stop-arm violations. It said the data was collected during the Kansas One-Day Stop Arm Violation Count. It said there were 220 districts and 3,300 buses that participated in the event. It said in April of 2018, 214 districts and 3,347 buses participated and reported 1,030 stop-arm violations.

“It is everyone’s responsibility to ensure the safety of our students,” said Keith Dreiling, director of KSDE’s School Bus Safety Unit. “School buses are safe, but we know that student passengers are most vulnerable outside of the bus – that’s why it’s so important for everyone to obey the stop arm law. School bus drivers play an important role in the safety of our students, too. I want to invite the state of Kansas to help celebrate the men and women who sit behind the wheel of our buses and dedicate their time and talent to keep our students safe.”

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