MOORESVILLE, Ind. (WISH) – Kids are beginning to go back to school this week, and as they prepare for their year ahead, so are school leaders.
They want to make sure those who have never been to school before know what to expect, from the time they step out of their home, until they return.
Wednesday Mooresville held an orientation focused on bus safety.
It was Jaycee and Julianna Bell’s first time on a school bus.
The identical twins will start kindergarten on Tuesday at North Madison Elementary School
Their mother, Melissa Bell was a nervous wreck.
“There’s a lot of nerves that goes along with making sure everything is going smoothly, no one gets hurt, nothing crazy happens,” said Bell.
The school has 85 incoming kindergarteners. The orientation included lessons from their bus driver, Jenny Vaughn, and a bus ride to get the jitters out
“Our objective as drivers is to make it a positive experience the first thing in the morning and last thing they see when they step off our bus,” said Vaughn
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration says a school bus is the safest way for children to get to school. Even safer than a parent’s car. But it also says an average of 19 kids die each year in school transportation accidents. That includes those who die in crashes, and pedestrian deaths.
Vaughn says the one of the most dangerous things kids do is when they drop something exiting the bus, and try to run to get it.
“When they drop a paper and want to go pick it back up, or drop a backpack, a hat, something its so dangerous,” Vaughn said
A general rule is for students to stay further than 10 feet from the sides of the bus and never walk behind the bus.
Bell says she plans on taking Wednesday’s lesson home with her.
“It lets us know what we can help our children with so we’re there, we can hear the rules so that we can practice going over them, Bell said
Transportation officials encourage drivers to slow down when passing children on the sidewalk, and near bus stops.
They also warn to never pass a school bus that is flashing yellow lights, as its an indicator the bus will soon stop and let children off.
Indiana law requires drivers to stop if a school bus is flashing red lights.