Local Kids Get a Lesson About School Bus Safety
That’s where Buster the Bus comes in. He’s an interactive robot that tours the country, teaching school children the ins and outs of bus safety. Justice Allen, a 2nd grader at Arlington Elementary School, says, "I learned what not to do and what to do on the bus."
Studies show school buses are the safest mode of transportation for getting children back and forth to school, but the big yellow bus can only go so far, and that’s where Buster the Bus rolls in. The interactive robot teaches kids their part in staying safe. Anthony Herbert, Director of Transportation for the Pascagoula School District, says, "Just know they need to listen to their bus drivers and when their bus drivers give them instructions about being seated on the bus and keeping their voices low, not eating or drinking on the bus, that the bus driver is doing that to keep a safe environment."
Another lesson was about staying put. This is one good way to help cut down on school bus accidents, since distracting the driver is the leading cause of these types of wrecks. Allen also says, "You shouldn’t stand up on the bus or you shouldn’t face the back of the bus." Ellen Anderson, a teacher and school bus driver at Central Elementary, says, "It’s very hard. The kids want to stand up to see where they’re going, so when they stand they can see that they can fall forward."
But the kids aren’t the biggest distraction for bus drivers. One of the biggest problems Anderson has while driving the bus is that other drivers don’t stop when she puts out the stop sign to let kids off the bus. Anderson also says, "And I have experienced a car driver running on the opposite side of the bus and almost hit a child as they were getting off the bus."
The program is geared toward the younger students, but older students can help out by being part of the solution instead of the problem. Allen closes, "They say bad words and get up out their seats anyway and they be doing inappropriate stuff on the bus."
The end result is that teachers and administrators gave the kids an A+, and to show their approval, they took a spin on the dance floor with Buster, just as another effort to teach this next generation a thing or two.