Wednesday, March 14, 2012

School Bus riding

This morning I have an idea or a thought. Have you noticed all the new laws surrounding driving vehicles lately. No cell phones, some states passing no eating and other working on no smoking, and of course not drinking and driving. All of these laws are for the safety of all drivers, right?

So why are we still letting or should I say expecting bus drivers to drive their bus and control the behavior of all the children on the bus. Doesn't this qualify as distracted driving? Isn't this a safety violation? Well I sure do think so. This morning on the Today show there were 3 stories, some local about bus accidents with injuries and deaths of young children. Does that shock you? It shouldn't. It does not shock me. Its actually expected. You ask me why? Let me tell you.

I have 4 children myself, its not 20 or even 40, but in my vehicle my children can get rowdy while I am driving. Thankfully they all have car seats and seat belts to confine them to their own space and to minimize distractions and the all time reason, safety. But if my 4 get rowdy then what makes us think 20 or 40 students together without seat belts to confine them are not going to get rowdy,  stay in their own seats and behave while the bus is operating. Exactly, they are not. Why do we expect or even let a bus leave a depot with simply a driver on board? This confuses me. We should not let this happen. How difficult would it be to have a bus monitor? A capable adult that can isolate, control and ensure the behavior of all the students on board? It's not. It could be a very simple job.

To me, it seems logical that we would want our bus drivers keeping their eyes on the road and not disciplining children or turned around talking to or scolding them. The bus driver needs to keep his or her eyes on the road at all times.

I wonder why we make all these laws for safety and leave out the most precious beings of all. This seems backwards.

I think we should call, write and make ourselves heard that we want change with the bus system in America. Bus drivers can not be held accountable for both safe driving and child behavior. They are hired to be a safe driver so we need to equip them with all we can to keep our children and their passengers safe. A bus monitor is a simple solution. Video cameras require the bus driver to take his or her eyes off the road just like mirrors. Lets work together to protect our children, help our bus drivers and eradicate these horrible, avoidable accidents.