The month of August is the spark of back-to-school season. The City of Durham’s public schools has 18,000 students and 300 buses traveling four million miles each school year. Whether you are a parent, guardian, or community member, it is crucial to be aware of the advanced school bus safety tips and resources to ensure everyone can have a safe and successful school year. In addition to improving your knowledge of bus safety tips, the Department of Transportation will highlight sustainable ways to help maximize your trips while decreasing your carbon footprint.
School Bus Safety:
The state of North Carolina has implemented a set of new crossing signals for drivers to use and students to follow. Take the time to download, learn and memorize the safety signals for the morning and afternoon with your students from this PDF Illustration. Review the Durham Public Schools Bus Safety Website for all other questions and additional safety resources.
Identifying Student Bus Assignments and Bus Tracking:
Durham Public Schools Transportation Services has developed a series of website links to make it easier for parents or guardians to know their student’s bus assignment and real-time location. Visit the Secure Bus Stop Information Service link to identify your student’s bus stop location. To track your student’s bus in real-time, visit HereComesTheBus.Com. These two resources are crucial for your student’s safety because they enhance communication between the schools, bus drivers, operations, and the community to help bring students to and from school daily.
Across North Carolina, numerous organizations enhance the safety of children getting to school, including Safe Routes to School (SRTS). The organization and program aim to make it safer for students to walk and bike to school and encourage more walking and biking where safety is not a barrier. Every school year, they host Walk, Bike, Roll to School Day nationwide.
This year marks the 26th anniversary. Registration is now open for the October 12 event. You can check the school listings to determine if your student’s school is participating. If your school is not participating, view the Get Started Guide to learn more about starting this program in your community. For additional information on the program, download the handbook.
Make Your Trips More Sustainable
Before the new school year begins, invest time to create a plan for your school trips to be more sustainable.
Here are four ways you can make an impact:
- Form a Neighborhood Carpool Crew
Carpooling not only saves you time, money, and gas, but it also reduces the number of carbon emissions by lowering the number of cars on the road. Sharing the ride to school can also be for after-school activities as well.
- Form a Walking School Bus
Help increase your steps by forming a Walking School Bus, a group of children walking to school with one or more adults. This can be a great opportunity to spend more time with your students and to make new friends.
- When waiting in the carpool line, turn your engine off
Vehicles should not be idle when waiting in the carpool line. Help reduce the number of carbon emissions and increased air pollution by turning your engine off as you wait for your student. Doing this can also help save you money on gas.
- Have your student take the city bus to school
GoDurham bus service is fare-free. If your child is 13 to 18 years of age, they can take the city bus to school, visit GoDurhamTransit.org to get a list of GoDurham bus stops. GoDurham is not affiliated with Durham Public Schools.
Welcome Back to School
As a community, we all play a vital role in helping children get the education they need to go further in life. Getting to and from school safely is just as important. It takes a village to raise and educate a child, but it also takes a community to help children get to school. Thank you to the bus drivers, Durham Public Schools Transportation Services staff, and volunteers for all your work to keep students in the Bull City Safe. Parents, guardians, community members, and students use these resources to enhance your safety on and off the school bus. Have a great school year!
Additional Educational and Safety Resource Links
Watch for Me NC- School Safety
NC Safe Routes to School Program