EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – IDEA Public Schools are joining forces with Texas DPS and local police departments to recognize National School Bus Safety Week which starts on Oct. 17 through Oct. 21.

National School Bus Safety Week serves as a reminder for students, parents, teachers, and the community to keep school bus safety in the forefront. IDEA Public Schools say students are transported approximately 469 routes each day including 383 regular routes, 28 Pre-K routes, and 58 special education routes transporting almost 24,000 riders. In total, IDEA’s transportation department drives more than 2 million miles annually across Texas, Louisiana, Florida, and Ohio.  

IDEA says this national campaign is focused on reminding motorists to use caution around school buses and to come to a stop when a school bus is displaying its red flashing lights. According to the National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation Services (NASDPTS) recent school bus survey, 79,859 school bus drivers reported that 51,593 vehicles passed their school buses illegally on a single day during the 2021-2022 school year. Texas laws require motorists to stop in direction of the school bus’s red lights until the bus driver proceeds. 

IDEA’s transportation department has provided some tips to keep children safe at bus stops which include:

  • Get to the bus stop in plenty of time
  • Wait at the driver’s designated place of safety
  • Take 10 giant steps away from the bus when unloading
  • Always follow the driver’s directions for how to cross the street
  • Be alert to traffic and look both ways
  • If you must cross the street, always cross in front of the bus

 Along with these safety tips, IDEA Public Schools say they have updated transportation protocols. Drivers are said to sanitize the bus daily after each route and ensure that students are sanitizing their hands as they board the bus each time.  

IDEA Public Schools say they now utilizes a new parent app called “Stopfinder”, which is an easy to use, all-in-one app that allows parents to have the most accurate information about a student’s bus schedule at anytime from anywhere. In addition to displaying student’s transportation information, families can also create “GeoAlerts” for their child, which will notify them when their bus has arrived/departed from any location on a student’s route, including their assigned bus stop and school.

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