The New York School Bus Contractors Association and Suffolk Region PTA sponsored a demonstration to help parents better understand the safety features on modern school buses and the training requirements of drivers.

The safety demonstration included sessions on the screening and selection process for school bus drivers and on training and qualification requirements as well as five stations on school bus safety that focused on a different aspect of service. These stations included: proper emergency evacuation; student management of crossings to and from the bus stop utilizing the mirror system; a physical performance test for the driver; child check safety on the bus using internal and external cameras as well as motion detectors; and stop arm cameras.

“Student safety is our number one priority,” said Tim Flood, a New York School Bus Contractors Association board member as well as executive vice president of the Trans Group and president of the National School Transportation Association. “This event was not only important in helping parents understand what it takes to make that ride as safe as possible for children but what can be done to make it even safer.”

He added that parental education is necessary to support legislation to increase penalties for drivers who illegally pass stopped school buses and for school bus drivers who fail a drug or alcohol test.

The safety demonstration was held March 25 in Bay Shore, New York at the Suffolk Transportation Service’s Safety and Training Center. NYSBCA said it was part of an ongoing statewide safety initiative to educate the public about school bus safety.

Other event sponsors were the Suffolk New York Association for Pupil Transportation; Suffolk Transportation Services, Inc.; Educational Bus Transportation; WE Transport; Towne Bus; and Huntington Coach Corp.