|2011 National Safe Routes to School Conference Seeks School Bus Participation|
|Written by Ryan Gray|
|Wednesday, 15 September 2010 10:56|
The school bus industry will be sought as a partner for a Safe Routes to School national conference scheduled for next summer, according to the program contractor for the federal government.
The National Center for Safe Routes to School and the Safe Routes to School National Partnership this week announced Minneapolis as the winning city during the Pro Walk/Pro Bike 2010 National Conference in Chattanooga, Tenn. The Minneapolis Safe Routes to School Conference will be hosted by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota and the Minnesota Department of Transportation. The event is scheduled for Aut. 16-18.
Lauren Marchetti is the director of the National Center for Safe Routes to School at the University of North Carolina Highway Safety Research Center that is under contract with the Federal Highway Administration to administer the program. The North Carolina Safety Research Center wrote "TRB Special Report 269 - the Relative Risks of School Travel" that found school buses as the safest form of transportation for school kids. Marchetti said that school district transportation operations and Safe Routes coordinators on the local and state level should be working in concert to improve child safety while also promoting improved child health and reducing environmental concerns such as traffic congestion around schools.
"I think getting children on school buses and getting them walking and biking are both wonderful ways of creating safe school campuses," said Marchetti, who said she has also taught school bus driver training modules and has taken ride-alongs on special education school routes in North Carolina. "The common issue we need to deal with is the number of parents putting one child in the car. We all need to work together."
The American School Bus Council has published information stating that one large school bus can remove up to 36 other vehicles from the road based on the assumption that an average of 1.5 school children ride in cars.
The National Center for Safe Routes to School put together a recent guide for NHTSA on selecting proper school bus stops, utilizing feedback from the school transportation industry. Meanwhile, the Safe Routes to School National Partnership last year inserted language drafted by NASDPTS asking for 10 percent of the federal program's infrastructure funds to include improved walking routes to school bus stops for those riders who live outside of walking distance to campus.
|Last Updated on Wednesday, 15 September 2010 12:38|