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2004 School Bus Safety Poster Contest: First Place Winner Division 3
Sara Schlicher Madawaska, ME
The Bottom line: IT’S ALL ABOUT KIDS AND THEIR SAFE TRAVEL TO AND FROM SCHOOL EACH DAY
State of Maine
Department of Education
School Bus Transportation Statistics
School Year 2003-2004
Transportation in the big yellow school bus is the safest form of highway transportation in the state and in the nation. National Highway Statistics show that between 1991 and 2000 only 0.3 percent of all traffic related fatalities have been classified as school bus related. Nationally approximately half of all elementary and high school students travel to and from school and home on school buses. Yet, in terms of crash fatalities, 8 times the number of students are killed during school transportation hours while traveling via the transportation modes other than the school bus. It is for this reason that the Department of Education joins the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) in recommending that when school-age children are transported by a school or organization, they should be transported using a regulation school bus.
In Maine, approximately 80% of our students travel to and from school in school buses. In the past decade we have not had a school bus passenger killed as a result of a school bus crash. Again, like the national statistics, there have been many students killed while traveling to and from school using non-school bus modes of transportation. During this same time, Maine averaged 134 school bus related crashes each year. Sadly, it is necessary to report that in the beginning of the 2004-05 school year, Maine did have a student killed as a result of another vehicle passing the bus on the right side while the school bus was stopped and the students were departing the bus. This tragedy will not be overlooked in our efforts to continuously improve the safety of our school transportation operations.
The big yellow school buses and the professional drivers that operate them are serving Maine’s children well. We continue to strive with our national partners to improve the design of the buses and the training for our drivers so that we can look forward to continuing our “best on the highway” safety performance while continuing to improve the safety of all student travel.
The total cost for transporting students to and from school in fiscal year 2004 increased 4.3 percent from the previous year while total miles and number of students transported both dropped 2%. Significant increases in fuel prices and wage and benefit costs more than offset cost reductions driven by the reduction in students and miles.
The Department is pleased to provide the following statewide pupil transportation statistics reports for school year 2003-04.
Comparison: FY03 to FY04 Public School Transportation Statistics – STATE OF MAINE
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