State Representative Jay Houghton has filed a bill that calls for Missouri to join the cause for National School Bus Safety Week (HB 1270). The national week takes place each year that third full week of October. Throughout the week students, bus drivers, emergency personnel, and school employees work together to ensure the safety of all people in and around school transportation.
Throughout the proposed week Missourians will be encouraged to observe the week with appropriate activities and events to increase awareness of school bus safety measures for students and the drivers on the road. It also seeks to recognize the hard work, dedications, and policies surrounding school transportation personnel. Houghton also cites the ability of the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and each school district to look at their current safety procedures, policies, and faults.
“There have been a lot of people asking for better school bus safety and better statewide policies,” Houghton added. “This will give them a guaranteed week each year to discuss with their staff, students, parents, boards, administrators and each other innovations and ideas.”
The timing of the suggested week also has significance. Having the week take place in the beginning of fall when the sun starts to set earlier, students will be more aware of safety as it gets dark earlier. It also falls just before Halloween, meaning that trick-or-treating children will also be more conscious.
“It’s our job to do everything we can to ensure a safe journey to each and every child,” the Representative continued. “If this week can help those discussions and help kids, parents, and drivers all be and feel safer on each day, we have to allow it to happen.”
National School Bus Safety Week is sponsored by the National School Transportation Association, the National Association for Pupil Transportation, the Pupil Transportation Safety Institute, and many other safety organizations, school bus manufacturers and suppliers. These organizations provide annual information on, not just the procedures of school transportation safety, but on the safety and recalls surrounding the buses transporting the students.
The Missouri Department of Education has participated in the national event in the past, but has let their membership lapse. Houghton is seeking the passage of this legislation to ensure we encourage these actions and conversations each and every year.
Representative Jay Houghton is currently serving in the second year of his first term in office, having been elected in 2010. His office maintaining an Open-Door Policy and encourages you to contact him at 573-751-3649, Jay.Houghton@house.mo.gov, room 203-B in the Capitol Building, 201 West Capitol Ave, Jefferson City, MO, 65101, Facebook.com/JayHoughton10, or on Twitter at Twitter.com/JayHoughton10.