The California Highway Patrol urges residents to join in observing National School Bus Safety Week October 21-25 as officials seek to boost awareness about safety to motorists, parents, teachers and students.
“The CHP’s oversight of school bus safety and enforcement is something we take very seriously each day,” CHP Commissioner Warren Stanley said. “Please do your part and join the Highway Patrol in our efforts to help keep children safe by being alert when approaching school buses and bus stops.”
Riding a school bus is the safest way for children to travel to and from school. Bus safety is a high priority for the CHP, which launched the “Vehicles Illegally Passing a School Bus” or VIPS enforcement project in 2017.
During VIPS enforcement operations, CHP officers ride on buses and patrol bus routes, watching for vehicles that do not stop for flashing red school bus lights.
The VIPS project also encourages people to report drivers who illegally pass a school bus.
Since the implementation of VIPS, more than 150 statewide school zone safety operations have been conducted, resulting in nearly 1,200 citations being issued.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, students are about 70 times more likely to get to school safely when taking a bus instead of traveling by car. School buses are the most regulated vehicles on the road, designed to be safer than passenger vehicles. The flashing red lights and stop-sign arms are crucial features.
More than 50,000 certified bus drivers transport more than one million students each year in California, traveling approximately 243.5 million miles. To help ensure the safety of the state’s students, the CHP inspects more than 20,000 buses each year; California has not had a pupil passenger fatality since 1995.
The mission of the CHP is to provide the highest level of Safety, Service and Security.