When it comes to bus safety, it's the faces of the children that matter.
Safety Services Nova Scotia (SSNS) is promoting school bus safety with a video contest for elementary, junior high and high school students. Kids are asked to create a short testimonial on why drivers need to stop for school buses.
“We want children to say why they’re awesome or special, and that they have a bright future and for drivers to look out for them,” says SSNS spokesperson Arminta Kennedy.
“We want drivers to think of those children they are putting at risk when they pass a school bus.”
According to SSNS, 90,000 school children travel daily via school buses in Nova Scotia. A 2011 survey by provincial school bus drivers found over 230 incidents of cars illegally passing buses in just one week. Eighty-eight per cent of those incidents had the car approaching the bus head-on.
“There is a pretty high incidence of passing buses,” says Kennedy. “We want to make sure the public is aware of that, and we want to remind drivers that it is the law that they must stop for a school bus that is stopped with its red light flashings.”
The winner of SSNS’ video contest will receive $500 and a night at the movies with four friends. The winning video will also be screened during School Bus Safety Awareness Week, taking place Oct. 21 to 25.
Students between kindergarten and Grade 12 have until Oct. 3 to submit their video. Full details and submission rules are available on SSNS’ bus safety website, http://schoolbussafety.ca.
Aside from the winning video, School Bus Safety Awareness Week will feature various media campaigns, advertisements and police checkpoints to distribute information cards.
“In essence, we want drivers to see those sweet faces and be reminded that we really are putting our future at risk when we put our young children at risk,” says Kennedy.