Resources Safety Related Articles Federal School Bus Safety Week Resolution Passes
Federal School Bus Safety Week Resolution Passes PDF Print E-mail
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Friday, 01 September 2006 00:00

WASHINGTON, D.C. — By an overwhelming majority, the U.S. House of Representatives passed in July a resolution recognizing School Bus Safety Week. The measure was introduced last fall by Rep. Jimmy Duncan (R-TN). All three major school bus associations — NAPT, NSTA and NASDPTS — supported the proposal and over the past several months urged their members to send letters of support to their individual congressmen.

Duncan brought the resolution to the House floor for a vote Tuesday afternoon (July 11). Other members who also spoke in support of the resolution during floor debate included Congressman Kenny Marchant (R-TX) and Congressman Bill Clay (D-MO). H.R. 498 was initially approved by a voice vote.

“One member cast a ‘No’ vote (during the voice vote) and promptly changed it to a ‘Yes’ to give us unanimity,” said Becky Weber, a pupil transportation lobbyist for NSTA and managing director of the D.C. lobbying firm BKSH & Associates. “We asked Congressman Duncan to ask for a recorded vote, which he did,” she added. “That vote occurred later Tuesday evening and was a whopping 424-0.” NSTA said it will plan School Bus Safety events in October for congressional districts to celebrate passage of the resolution.

Several Ohio lawmakers saluted the federal recognition.

“This resolution highlights that the safe transportation of our nation’s school children is a top priority. It thanks the industry for a job well done,” said Congresswoman Stephanie Tubbs Jones, who was joined by Congressmen Tim Ryan and Ted Strickland.

Added Strickland: “Safety is of paramount concern and the yellow school bus industry has done a remarkable job in ensuring that our children are protected each and every day.”

The annual school bus celebration, created in 1966 by then transportation director Dick Fischer of California’s Centralia School District, takes place the third week in October throughout more than 40 states and is sponsored by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. With the passage of H.R. 498 the industry hopes to increase participation numbers, and it is planning celebrations nationwide in the coming months.

After the unanimous voice vote in the House, the pupil transportation industry successfully petitioned for a roll call that officially recorded each representative’s vote. “As good as our safety record might be, when it comes to the safety of our children zero tolerance is the expectation,” said Pete Japikse, president of the National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation and director of Pupil Transportation for the Ohio Department of Education. “The importance of school bus safety, education and training cannot be emphasized enough.”

Terry Thomas, president of Community Bus Services, a bus service provider in Columbus and Youngstown said: “Safety in school transportation is our foremost objective. This universal recognition and honoring of School Bus Safety Week is a key sign of the common interest that all members of the school transportation industry share.”

The nation’s approximately 480,000 yellow school buses carry 25 million children to and from school every weekday. School buses comprises the country’s largest mass transportation fleet, 2.5 times greater than all other forms of mass transportation — transit, intercity buses, commercial airlines and rail — combined.

Reprinted from the September 2006 issue of School Transportation News magazine. All rights reserved.

Last Updated on Thursday, 14 January 2010 17:24