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School bus safety gets a boost

October 26, 2010
The Daily Mining Gazette

Each day, more than 18,000 school buses transport students to and from school in Michigan. This fall, those yellow buses will be equipped with passenger emergency information packets supplied through the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning.

Made of heavy plastic, the large, clear envelopes will provide drivers a dedicated location for important information about special needs students on the bus. The packets feature a reflective sticker that states "Student Emergency Information," which can easily be located by first responders.

This is a move in the right direction on the part of the OHSP. It will only help improve the safety of local children who use the bus to go to and from school.

Michigan has many special needs students that ride the bus each day. Having important medical information in an easy-to-locate, dedicated place will greatly assist first responders in case of an emergency.

The packets will contain information voluntarily provided by parents and guardians about medical conditions or other issues concerning special needs students on the bus which will assist emergency personnel in treating these students.

The emergency information packets will be sent to school districts and distributed at the Michigan Association for Pupil Transportation fall conference during National School Bus Safety Week Oct. 18 to 22.

School buses are considered the safest form of transportation to school for children, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. In 2009, Michigan school buses were involved in 903 crashes that resulted in 192 injuries, according to Michigan Traffic Crash Facts. A majority of those injured were drivers and passengers in motor vehicles involved in crashes with buses. There were no fatalities.



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