South Philadelphia hosted the 48th Annual School Bus Driver International Safety Competition this past Sunday, July 22. The annual school bus safety competition focuses heavily on the safety of driving students of all ages with competitions in the categories of small bus, transit and conventual.
The international school bus safety competition attracted drivers from all over the United States and Canada. Drivers all took part in the road course hoping to gain recognition and win top honors in their field.
Drivers first must complete and pass a written test before they perform a competitive road test that accesses their skills.
The importance of school bus safety is at an all-time high in recent years for not only Philadelphia, but other locations.
School bus safety in the spotlight: incidents on the rise
Back in early June, a young boy from West Philadelphia who attends the Quba Institute of Arabic and Islamic Studies was left on the bus twice within a nine-day time period.
The young boy had fallen asleep. Luckily, his parents were able to alert the school that he didn’t make it home on time. He was later located on the bus lot.
Zero tolerance policies put in place
All City Transportation fired the driver following the avoidable and dangerous incident.
The transportation quickly released a statement assuring the public that they take the safety of the students very seriously.
“We have procedures in place that all bus drivers should follow in order to ensure that students safely arrive at the correct stop. Falling short of those standards is unacceptable. We have been in communication with All City Transportation and are working with them and the Philadelphia police department as this matter is investigated,” the statement read.
On top of the importance of driving safely, the school bus driver competition in South Philly also gave drivers the opportunity to demonstrate their professionalism on the job and their dedication to pupil transportation.