CINCINNATI — School transportation leader First Student is shining a spotlight on school bus safety this back-to-school season with its 5th Annual Safety Dog Bus Tour.
The Safety Dog Bus Tour kicks off on August 29 in Racine, Wisconsin, when it begins traveling to 12 locations across North America with its mission to reinforce safe school bus behavior.
“Student safety is at the heart of everything we do,” said First Student Chief Operating Officer and Interim President Paul Osland. “The Safety Dog Bus Tour teaches students appropriate school bus behavior at the start of the school year. We make it fun, interactive, and most importantly, memorable.”
During Safety Dog Bus Tour events, students can see first-hand how a First Student bus is designed for safety inside and out. Students can “Walk the Yellow Carpet” and pose for a photo with Safety Dog, First Student’s safety mascot, or sign a safety pledge and leave with a “doggie bag” full of Safety Dog goodies.
This year’s Tour stops include:
• Chatham-Kent Lambton Administrative School Services: Chatham, Ontario, Canada
• Exeter Region Cooperative School District – SAU 16: Exeter, N.H.
• Fairbanks North Star Borough School District: Fairbanks, Alaska
• Gresham-Barlow School District: Gresham, Ore.
• Hamilton County Schools: Chattanooga, Tenn.
• Jefferson City Public Schools: Jefferson City, Mo.
• Lewisville Independent School District: Lewisville, Texas
• McLean County Unit District 5: Normal, Ill.
• Osseo Area Schools, ISD 279: Maple Grove, Minn.
• Racine Unified School District: Racine, Wisc.
• Wichita Public Schools: Wichita, Kans.
• William Penn School District: Lansdowne, Penn.
The Tour also aims to remind motorists that they, too, play an essential role in keeping bus riders safe by obeying stop arm safety laws. A recent survey suggests there could be more than 17 million illegal stop-arm passes during a school year.
Since 2015, there have been 33 stops on the Safety Dog Bus Tour. In total, more than 29,000 guests have visited a stop, and over 11,000 students have signed a safety pledge.
Tour dates, times, locations, safety tips, and downloadable activities for students and parents are posted at safetydogbustour.com. Safety tips and tour updates are also at First Student on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, plus at the #SafetyDogBusTour hashtag.
Riding a bus is the safest way for children to travel to and from school. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, school buses are approximately 70 times safer than passenger cars and 10 times safer than walking.
About First Student, Inc.
As the leading school transportation solutions provider in North America, First Student provides the best start and finish to every school day. First Student completes 5 million student journeys each school day, moving more passengers than all U.S. airlines combined. With a team of highly-trained drivers and the industry’s strongest safety record, First Student delivers reliable, quality services. These include full-service transportation and management, special-needs transportation, route optimization and scheduling, maintenance and charter services for 1,100 school district contracts.