‘Riding a school bus is the safest way for children to travel to and from school’ is the message from the California Highway Patrol as they observe National School Bus Safety Week, October 21st through the 25th. The week is all about increasing awareness about school bus safety to motorists, parents, teachers and students.
“The CHP’s oversight of school bus safety and enforcement is something we take very seriously each day,” CHP Commissioner Warren Stanley said. “Please do your part and join the Highway Patrol in our efforts to help keep children safe by being alert when approaching school buses and bus stops.”
School bus safety is a high priority for the CHP, which launched the “Vehicles Illegally Passing a School Bus” enforcement project in 2017.
During VIPS enforcement operations, CHP officers ride on school buses and patrol bus routes, watching for vehicles that do not stop for flashing red school bus lights. The VIPS project also encourages people to report drivers who illegally pass a school bus. Since the implementation of VIPS, more than 150 statewide school zone safety operations have been conducted, resulting in nearly 1,200 citations being issued.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, students are about 70 times more likely to get to school safely when taking a bus instead of traveling by car.
School buses are the most regulated vehicles on the road, designed to be safer than passenger vehicles. The flashing red lights and stop-sign arms are crucial features.
More than 50,000 certified school bus drivers transport more than one million students each year in California, traveling approximately 243.5 million miles.
To help ensure the safety of the state’s students, the CHP inspects more than 20,000 school buses each year; California has not had a pupil passenger fatality since 1995.