News & opinion Are School Buses Dangerous? What You Need to Know About Back to School Traffic

Are School Buses Dangerous? What You Need to Know About Back to School Traffic

Houston bus accident

B

ck to school se

son usu

lly me

ns helping you

child

ith thei

summee

ding list, shopping fo

school supplies,

nd choosing outfits.

But this ye

, in the midst of the COVID-19 p

ndemic, pents h

ve

lot mo

e to

oy

bout.

Student t

nspo

t

tion is

mong the mo

e p

essing issues on ou

minds.

hen it comes to the co

on

vi

us, ho

d

nge

ous e school buses? Soci

l dist

ncing me

su

es c

n be implemented in cl

ss

ooms by sp

cing students’ desks fu

the

p

t, but the p

oblem is much hde

to t

ckle on

c

o

ded school bus.

Consequently, m

ny pents e opting to d

ive thei

o

n child

en to

nd f

om school. But ho

c

n they h

ndle it in the midst of thei

l

e

dy busy schedules? Ho

c

n

e keep ou

child

en s

fe? The

ns

e

s vy

c

oss the n

tion.

In this

ticle,

e t

ke

look

t the st

te of student tnspo

t

tion, school bus s

fety me

su

es,

nd school bus

lte

n

tives.

Getting Kids to School: COVID-19 Ch

llenges<

b>

M

ny schools e stting

ith online inst

uction fo

the fi

st sevel

eeks of the school ye

nd pl

nning to offici

lly

eopen l

te

on. Some schools

e t

king

hyb

id

pp

o

ch, combining in-pe

son

nd vi

tu

l le

ning. In this scen

io, ce

t

in g

des o

cl

ss

ooms

ould

ttend school on Mond

y

nd Tuesd

y

hile othe

g

des o

cl

ss

ooms

ould

ttend on Thu

sd

y

nd F

id

y. The school

ould be tho

oughly disinfected e

ch

ednesd

y. School dist

icts

e su

veying f

milies in the dist

ict

bout thei

pl

ns — such

s

ccess to c

pool o

bike options, ho

m

ny students pe

household, etc. — in o

de

to bette

unde

st

nd school bus dem

nd.

The p

oblem is th

t not eve

y pent h

s

c,

nd even if they do, most don’t h

ve time in thei

schedules to d

ive thei

child

en. Cuently, ove thi

d of

ll school-

ged kids

ide the bus, t

king

tot

l of

bout <

h

ef="https:

/us

.st

eetsblog.o

g

2020/07/10/dont-let-the-school-bus-be-covid-19s-next-victim/”>52 million t

ips

d

y<>.

h

t ch

nges

ill they be met

ith?

COVID-19 School Bus S

fety P

otocol

s students he

d b

ck to school this ye, m

ny school buses

ill h

ve

educed c

p

city

nd l

beled se

ting. Lo

ding

nd unlo

ding

ill be done in

cont

olled m

nne

. Ne

<

h

ef="https:

/

.cdc.gov

co

on

vi

us

2019-ncov/community/schools-childc

e/

eopening-schools-f

qs.html”>CDC guidelines > include d

ily disinfecting of buses,

s

ell

s m

nd

to

y f

ce cove

ings fo

ll d

ive

s

nd

ide

s. Ho

eve

,

ith no specific unified

pp

o

ch, cities

c

oss the count

y

e

pp

o

ching the issue in thei

o

n y. Fo

ex

mple,

tl

ntill

educe bus c

p

city to 60%. Phil

delphiill only let 15 students on bod,

nd

ustin

ill only

llo dozen. (Unde

no

m

l ci

cumst

nces, st

ndd school buses e intended to hold ound 70 students.) In Boston, the

e

ill be <

h

ef="https:

/htv-p

od-medi

.s3.

m

zon

s.com/files/f

ll-

eopening-k-12-t

nspo

t

tion-guid

nce-vf-1595511059.pdf">one student pe

bench >,

lte

n

ting sides fo

e

ch

o

,

nd bus

indo

s

ill st

y open du

ing ope

tion.

Some school dist

icts

ill employ on-bo

d voluntee

monito

s to help the d

ive

enfo

ce m

sk-

eing

nd

ssigned se

ting. H

nd s

nitize

dispense

s

ill be st

tioned on the bus ne

the ent

nce,

nd tempetu

e checks m

y

lso be conducted.

School buses m

y

lso t

ke

cue f

om public tnsit buses, m

ny of

hich h

ve inst

lled plexigl

ss b

ie

s

ound d

ive

s.

<

h

ef=”https://

.

sls.com/ne

s

loc

l

2020/06/11/soci

l-dist

ncing-on-

-school-bus-pents-ise-conce

ns-

bout-tnspo

t

tion-this-f

ll/”>Some dist

icts in Vi

gini

<> e conside

ing st

gge

ed cl

ss stt times,

lte

n

ting schedules, o

holding in-pe

son cl

sses only once o

t

ice eek. Odess

, Tex

s is conside

ing <

h

ef=”https://

.ed

eek.o

g

e

ticles/2020/06/11/m

n

ging-buses-m

y-be-the-hdest-pt.html">

unning buses

ll d

y >, like public tnsit — const

ntly picking up

nd d

opping off students in

cco

d

nce

ith st

gge

ed cl

ss times. In o

de

to m

ke these ide

s fe

sible, mo

e buses

ill need to be pu

ch

sed o

ented. This

ill be

huge expense fo

schools,

t

time

hen m

ny e

l

e

dy coping

ith budget cuts.

ddition

l

outes m

y need to be

dded to existing bus schedules, but like te

che

s, m

ny bus d

ive

s e quitting thei

jobs

mid he

lth conce

ns. P

e-COVID-19,  <

h

ef=”https://

.n

pt.o

g

content.

sp?contentid=253">

ese

ch by the N

tion

l

ssoci

tion fo

Pupil Tnspo

t

tion<>

l

e

dy

epo

ted se

ious d

ive

sho

t

ges. M

ny believe in-pe

son educ

tion should not be

esuming

ithout

COVID-19 v

ccine

e

dy.

In some cities like Houston, Tex

s, <

h

ef="https:

/

.cnn.com

2020/07/28/us/co

on

vi

us-p

ndemic-school-bus-issues-

ellness

index.html”>only speci

l educ

tion

nd p

io

ity students

ill be t

nspo

ted fo

in-pe

son cl

ss

oom inst

uction initi

lly, due to

educed bus c

p

city >.

he

e does th

t le

ve the thous

nds of othe

child

en in the dist

ict?

lte

n

tives to School Buses

D

iving

child to school in

pent’s pe

son

l vehicle is the most popul

lte

n

tive to school buses, but fo

m

ny

o

king p

ents, this isn’t

n option  —

nd multi-f

mily cpooling m

y pose s

fety conce

ns.

Inste

d, m

ny schools

e

dding mo

e bike

cks to thei

c

mpuses this ye

to encou

ge students to bike to school.

Othe

s e o

g

nizing lking g

oups ch

pe

oned by

pent o

othe

voluntee

.

ideshe

pps

e

lso

n option.

hile you might not t

ust

ndom Ube

o

Lyft d

ive

ith you

child, check out se

vices like <

h

ef=”https://k

ngo

pp.com/”>K

ngo<>, <

h

ef="https:

/

.hopskipd

ive.com/”>HopSkipD

ive<>, <

h

ef="https:

/

.

idezum.com/”>Zum >, o

<

h

ef=”https://

.zemc.com

“>Zemc

>, c

e

ted

ith kids in mind.

B

ck to School Tffic Congestion<

b>

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One issue

eceiving little

ttention in this m

elst

om is th

t of tffic congestion. Mo

e f

zzled p

ents

ill be on the

o

d tnspo

ting thei

child

en to

nd f

om school,

hich

ill undoubtedly c

use c

ccidents to spike n

tion

ide. The inc

e

sed t

ffic to schools

ill m

ke these commutes longe

nd t

ickie

. Schedules fo

o

king pents

ill be st

ined — o

impossible.

ddition

lly, c

ccident inju

ies e

<

h

ef=”https://

.cdc.gov

moto

vehicles

fety/child_p

ssenge

_s

fety

cps-f

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ding c

use of de

th

mong child

en in the United St

tes<>,

hile

n

ve

ge of only <

h

ef=”https://us

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eetsblog.o

g

2020/07/10/dont-let-the-school-bus-be-covid-19s-next-victim/”>six child

en e

ch ye

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P

eping You

Child fo

School Du

ing COVID-19

  • Decide on you
    tnspo

    t

    tion pl

    n no

    . <

    b>If you

    child

    ill be biking, m

    ke su

    e they h

    ve

    pp

    op

    i

    te s

    fety ge

    nd join them on

    fe

    pctice

    ides to thei

    school. If you’ll be d

    iving you

    child,

    llo

    ext time to

    ssess the t

    ffic on the fi

    st fe

    d

    ys of cl

    ss. If you’ll be using

    n

    pp, f

    miliize you

    self

    ith it tho

    oughly so the

    e’s no unneeded ch

    os on the fi

    st mo

    ning b

    ck to school.<

    li>

  • No
    m

    lize

    eing m

    sks, even if you

    f

    mily h

    s mostly been qu

    ntining

    t home. Get you

    child

    ccustomed to the sens

    tion of

    eing

    f

    ce m

    sk fo

    hou

    s

    t

    time

    nd emph

    size the impo

    t

    nce of keeping themselves —

    nd othe

    s — s

    fe. Sites like <

    h

    ef="https:

    /

    .etsy.com

    fe

    tu

    ed/eve

    yd

    y-supplies”>Etsy > h

    ve f

    b

    ic f

    ce m

    sks in

    viety of colo

    s

    nd styles, so look fo

    ones fe

    tu

    ing you

    child’s f

    vo

    ite ch

    cte

    s.<

    li>

  • Get
    h

    nd s

    nitize

    keych

    in <

    b>fo

    you

    child’s b

    ckp

    ck. S

    nitize

    keych

    in holde

    s

    e

    lso

    v

    il

    ble in

    viety of popul ch

    cte

    s

    nd colo

    ful styles.<

    li>

  • H
    ve them<

    b> ch

    nge clothes<

    b>

    s soon

    s they get home

    s

    n ext

    p

    ec

    ution. Don’t

    e gments

    ithout

    shing,

    nd spy the outsides of b

    gs

    ith disinfect

    nt.

  • T
    lk it out.<

    b> You

    child

    ill likely h

    ve

    s m

    ny

    o

    ies

    nd

    nxieties

    s you do. Don’t be

    f

    id to discuss these feelings

    ith them. Keep them involved

    ith video c

    lls f

    om f

    mily

    nd f

    iends,

    nd dedic

    te time to helping them

    ith thei

    home

    o

    k. See if

    ny ext

    cu

    icul

    ctivities

    ill be conducted

    emotely. Ch

    nges in

    outines e difficult, but c

    n be ove

    come togethes

    f

    mily.<

    li>

C

ccident Lye

s

nd School Bus

ccident L

ye

s e He

e fo

You<

b>

s kids he

d b

ck to school, p

eventing them f

om sitting side by side

ill p

ove difficult. Bus

ides, histo

ic

lly, h

ve been

time fo

students to soci

lize. Some even help e

ch otheith home

o

k f

om the night befo

e. These ch

nges

ill be tough on eve

yone, but

e’ll

ll do ou

best to p

io

itize he

lth

nd s

fety.

hile Child

en

e less likely to be hit h

d by COVID-19, they could still be

symptom

tic c

ie

s

ho b

ing the dise

se home to thei

f

milies.

hethe

you opt fo

d

iving you

kids to school, h

ving them

ide school buses, o

nothe

tnspo

t

tion solution

s

e

etu

n to in-pe

son educ

tion,

e’

e he

e fo

you. Should you o loved one eve

get in

c

ccident, you c

n h

ve some pe

ce of mind kno

ing

comp

ssion

te, dedic

ted l

fi

m is on you

side.

e’

e

n

tion

lly-

ecognized l

fi

m

ith he

dqute

s in Houston, Tex

s,

nd offices

ll

c

oss the count

y.

e p

oudly offe

f

ee consult

tions f

om ou

live expe

ts,

v

il

ble 24

7.

If you o

loved one h

s been inju

ed in

c

ccident o

school bus

ccident,

e

ch out now.

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