The National School Transportation Association reminded members of its work on the American School Bus Council to promote facts on school bus safety following a damning report by CBS News that claimed a lack of industry oversight on school bus drivers resulting in dozens of ex-convicts to transport schoolchildren nationwide.
While the industry has since worked to debunk the segment, NSTA said many of its school bus contractor members expressed concern over the July 27 report on the CBS Evening News and another report the following day CBS This Morning. NSTA added that its members noted that the investigation only presented one side of the story.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), schoolchildren are 70 times safer traveling in a school bus than in their parent's car. But that statistic is lost on much of the general public and never made the CBS report, NSTA added.
"Many in the motoring public, however, are not aware of the safety characteristics of the school bus or its incredible safety rating," NSTA wrote in an email on Wednesday. "It is our job as transportation professionals to take every opportunity to remind them of this so that every parent makes the safest choice and puts their child on the school bus each and every day."
NSTA is a member of the American School Bus Council alongside the National Association for Pupil Transportaiton, the National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation Services and school bus manufacturers Blue Bird, IC Bus and Thomas Built Buses. The group, through a cooperative agreement with NHTSA, offers school bus safety resources via www.schoolbusfacts.com available free of charge and without copyright restriction. NSTA explained that these materials include posters, fliers, brochures, social media, animations, drop-in articles, and supporting graphics.
NSTA also encouraged its members as well as the entire industry to use the materials to make local communities aware of other side of the story that CBS News neglected, especially later this summer when schools return to session.
"We appreciate everything you do every day to continue to keep the children we transport as safe as possible," NSTA added. "Ensuring that everyone we serve - including parents - are aware of our safety record and the safety features found on school buses is also part of that mission and we appreciate your helping us to spread that message as well."