The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Editorials

October 14, 2013

Readers' Forum 10-14 | School bus safety is no accident

JOHNSTOWN — National School Bus Safety Week is Oct. 21-25. Most people do not realize that school bus transportation is one of the safest forms of ground transportation. In fact, a school bus is 28 times safer than a passenger car. That’s no accident. It is through the hard-working and dedicated professionals in the school transportation industry.

Our safety record is due to tough federal and state regulations, extensive driver training and review and our commitment to safety.

School busing is a more complex and demanding job than most people appreciate. It is supported by an extensive support network including mechanics, dispatchers and safety trainers. The vehicles are built and equipped for the safety of the children. They operate at the busiest travel periods of the day and in all types of weather.

But our best efforts can only deliver a part of the results. An awareness of the law and the behavior of the driving

public remains a critical element in the safety of the children we transport. Too many times, school bus drivers report motorists passing their stopped buses when they are picking up or discharging students.

Pennsylvania’s law is quite simple: A motorist must always stop for a school bus when the red lights are flashing. If a motorist fails to stop for a school bus, it is an automatic 60-day suspension of his or her driver’s license, five points on his or her driving record and a $250 fine.

Observe School Bus Safety Week every week, it could save a life.

Jerry Tibbott

Tri-County Transportation

Northern Cambria

Actions of few cyclists don’t represent all

As a responsible motorcyclist and concerned citizen, I am writing about the incident that occurred in New York City on Sept. 29 involving an SUV driver and some motorcyclists.

I am troubled by the serious injuries caused by the SUV driver and by the actions of some motorcyclists who apparently decided to take the law into their own hands. Some in the media have reported the facts, but others are sensationalizing the story.

I ride responsibly and do my best to represent motorcycling in a positive light. Those of us who ride support rider education and often raise funds for charitable causes.

The safety of all motorists, especially motorcyclists, is of the utmost concern to me, and I do not support actions by any motorists who violate the law.

Each year, the American Motorcyclist Association sanctions hundreds of well-organized recreational events. At these events, law-abiding motorcyclists gather to enjoy camaraderie and spend their dollars in host cities and surrounding communities.

One unfortunate event of this kind, reported frequently by national and local media, can create a false image of all motorcyclists by the general public.

Motorcycling has become an enjoyable, mainstream activity and almost everyone today has a family member or friend who rides. The actions of the motorcyclists portrayed in the video of the encounter in New York City do not represent me, my friends, or the vast majority of the 27 million motorcyclists in America.

If you have comments, please send them to: grassroots@ama-cycle.org.

Jason J. Kaplitz

Boswell

President, Laurel Highland BMW Riders

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