Josh Ehlers, Commander Office of Community Outreach & Media Relations 601 North 7th Street, Sacramento, CA 95811
Fran CladerDirector of Communications(916) 843-3310
SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Motorists who fail to stop for the flashing red lights of a school bus are the focus of National School Bus Safety Week, October 16-20, and the California Highway Patrol (CHP).
The theme of National School Bus Safety Week, “#STOP ON RED!” conveys an important message in California. Motorists who do not stop for the flashing red lights and crossing arm of a school bus put students and drivers in danger. More children are killed during loading and unloading, while outside the school bus, than while riding the bus. California has not had a pupil passenger fatality in 22 years, since 1995.“Taking the bus is by far the safest way for children to get to school,” CHP Acting Commissioner Warren Stanley said. “Safety is no accident. Bus drivers, parents, students, and our officers all contribute to the safety record.”
The CHP began the Vehicles Improperly Passing a School Bus (VIPS) enforcement project in February 2017 following studies and input from the California Department of Education and California Association of School Transportation Officials. The VIPS project is designed to educate drivers and pedestrians that motorists must stop when the flashing red lights and crossing arm on a school bus are activated. The VIPS project also encourages people to report drivers who illegally pass a school bus.
Officers of the CHP work closely with California schools to educate motorists, students, and parents on ways to stay safe. More than 32,000 school bus drivers transport more than one million students each year in California, traveling approximately 278 million miles. The CHP is also responsible for inspecting more than 24,000 school buses each year.
The mission of the CHP is to provide the highest level of Safety, Service, and Security.