A new bipartisan resolution in the U.S. House of Representatives seeks to designate September as National School Bus Safety and Security Month.
If passed, H.R. 554 would recognize and thank the nearly 500,000 school bus drivers in the U.S. and the other student transportation professionals who are focused on school bus safety and security.
Introduced on Sept. 12 by Rep. Scott Tipton (R-CO) and Tom Malinowksi (D-NJ), it specifically calls for providing the latest training, technology, and free safety and security resources to the school bus industry.
In August, the Senate unanimously passed a resolution to recognize September as National School Bus Safety Month. That School Bus Safety Month resolution recognizes school buses as the largest mass transportation fleet in the U.S., since 48 percent of the nation’s K-12 students ride the school bus to and from school.
Ward Leber, the founder of the nonprofit Child Safety Network (CSN), was instrumental in working with the Senate to pass last month’s proclamation. This is the seventh year in a row that National School Bus Safety Month was declared by the Senate.
“This is the first year we have run the resolution in the House of Representatives, which gives us the opportunity to brief all lawmakers in the federal government on ways that they can make their own states and districts safer for student transportation,” added Leber, who is also chairman of the CSN professional advisory board.
The House resolution would allow broadcast, digital media, and social networking organizations to provide free resources from CSN that are designed to safeguard children, recognize school bus drivers, and school bus safety and security professionals. It would also help improve safer public driver behavior near school buses when students are boarding and disembarking the school bus.
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The month would also recognize key leaders who have provided security awareness training materials to more than 14,000 local educational agencies, trained more than 100,000 school bus operators, and provided more than 150,000 counterterrorism guides to persons who are key to providing both safety and security for children in the U.S.
“Every day in the United States, millions of children rely on transportation to take them to school,” stated Fitzpatrick. “As we appreciate the work of dedicated bus drivers and crossing guards, we recognize September as National School Bus Safety and Security Month to reinforce our shared support for enhanced safeguards to keep our kids safe.”
Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ) is among the supporters of H.R. 554. “I’m proud to be working with this bipartisan group on ensuring all of our children, regardless of where they live, are as safe as possible on our school buses. Focusing on improving bus safety will save lives,” he said in a statement. “And there’s nothing partisan about that. It’s not a Democratic or Republican issue. It’s a mom and dad issue.”
At this date, HR 552 was referred to the House Committee on Oversight and Reform.