Texas Border Business
Rio Grande Valley, Texas – This week, IDEA Public Schools along with the Texas Department of Public Safety and local police departments will join forces to recognize National School Bus Safety Week. The national theme this year is “Be Safe – Know the Danger Zone.”
At IDEA Public Schools, students are transported approximately 359 routes each day including 320 regular routes, 16 Pre-K routes, and 30 special education routes transporting almost 23,000 riders. In total, IDEA’s transportation department drives more than 2 million miles annually across Texas, Louisiana and Florida.
This national campaign is focused on reminding motorists that they need to use caution around school buses and come to a stop when the bus is displaying its red flashing lights. It is estimated that over 10 million drivers illegally pass schools buses each year. Texas laws require motorists to stop clear of the school bus until the bus driver cancels the red lights.
IDEA Public Schools transportation department offers the following tips to children while getting on and off the bus:
- Get to the bus stop in plenty of time.
- Wait at your 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 has updated transportation protocols. Drivers sanitize the bus daily after each route and ensure that our students are sanitizing their hands as they board the bus each time.
This school year, the transportation department has invested in technology called Zonar to ensure IDEA effectively tracks all students who ride the bus. It provides real-time school bus fleet tracking for instant reports on the location of each bus and the students on board. Security and safety are further improved with alerts when buses aren’t operated safely or when they need maintenance.
“IDEA strives to equip our drivers with the tools and skills to ensure that our scholars are always transported safely,” said Carlos Castaneda, Vice President of Transportation at IDEA Public Schools. “Implementing and making good usage of our technology and training platforms is essential for our students’ safety.”
Last school year, IDEA school buses drove a little over 2 million miles throughout our regions. For more information on IDEA Public Schools and our transportation department, please visit www.ideapublicschools.org/transportation.