The Wheels on the Bus Go Round and Round...

Today's post is more of a PSA...

The wheels on the bus go round and round … all through the town.

There it is again: the yellow bus.

After a three-month slumber through the heat of summer, the numbered yellow carriages are again hitting the roads.

They criss-cross the county and leaving no child behind as the make their way down nearly every county road.

Morning and afternoon. Five days a week.

On board, they carry precious cargo: our children.

But without the school transportation system, many students would be unable to attend to attend school. Yes, gone are the days when one would “walk five miles uphill (both ways) regardless of the weather” to arrive for classes.

Our grandparents’ tales on getting to school just don’t hold up anymore. While they love to regale us with stories of times gone by, the ubiquity of the automobile, changes in academic theory and budgets, as well as the outward development of our communities have altered the location and size of our schools.

In fact, I was surprised how these factors wove together for the latest prohibition at the newly opened Red Oak Elementary. Reading last week’s Jessamine Journal, I discovered that walking to Red Oak is expressly prohibited.

I wonder what grandpa would think?

But whether we like it or not, our society is highly reliant on the automobile. And our schools rely on the yellow buses to get pupils into the classroom.

Without providing transportation, how else could we ensure that attendance rates remain north of 95%?

More critical than transporting our children, however, is doing it safely. Unfortunately, Kentucky has witnessed some of the worst bus crashes in American history on her own soil. In turn, our regulations concerning school bus safety are some of the more progressive in the country.

I was pleasantly surprised to learn on the Jessamine County Schools’ website that “a school bus is the safest form of ground transportation [and] is nearly eight times safer than a passenger vehicle.”

Let’s keep it that way, Jessamine County. The first few weeks certainly wreak havoc on morning commute times as commuters struggle to adjust to the many stops the yellow bus will make.

Be patient and adjust your schedules accordingly.

Pay attention not just when the bus is stopped, but whenever children are present. Statistics also show that the highest percentage school bus-related fatalities come from pedestrians in loading zones.

Be watchful and drive safely.

Remember, those yellow buses carry precious cargo.

This column originally appeared in the Jessamine Journal
It should not be republished without permission.
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