In her recent story in The Columbia County News-Times, Traffic woes continue at area schools, Melissa Halls quote from Columbia County School Superintendent Tommy Price is priceless. He gives three simple solutions in one sentence that would reduce congested traffic:
Separate times more would be an uncomfortable solution. I remember not wanting to waken our children any earlier than necessary, but the years I had to (because of early work hours or an early bus), the day started less hectic with less traffic. Drivers can separate times more by coming early to school, as soon as they are allowed to arrive.
Encouraging the use of our transportation and our walkways is also valuable advice. School buses, which are built in accordance with stringent national standards to be the safest vehicles on the road, are compartmentalized and absorb more crash force than other vehicles.
Students who are walking are much more vulnerable than children in vehicles, and the parent needs to invest time in educating the child. The parent walks the route with the child as long as needed, and gradually the child learns to initiate safe practices without coaching. The adult assesses whether there are adequate signals and crossing guards along the way. Parents help by not driving their car to bus stops or schools as much as possible.
Teens learn respect for the environment and their finances, and they learn to deal with peer pressure when they choose bus riding. One idea: Loan your car on the weekend if your teen rode the bus most of the week. Many teens ride with friends, but astute parents learn about the driving history of the friend first, and encourage riding with someone with a good record who has driven for 6-12 months.
Only 10 school-age children die annually in the U.S. on school buses, compared with 3,000 in other vehicles. There is no research to compare fatalities (per time traveling), but it is fairly obvious that school buses are much safer. Getting on and off a bus is more dangerous than riding a bus, as 25 students are killed annually in this manner, but even adding this number for a total of 35 is much lower than other-vehicle transportation.
Safe Communities Coalition
The Columbia County News-Times ©2013. All Rights Reserved.