Buster teaches kids about bus safety
By Joseph McCain, The Winston County Journal, 9/2/11
It was all about school bus safety Monday afternoon and Tuesday morning at the elementary schools in the Louisville Municipal School District.
Students at Fair, Noxapater and Nanih Waiya heard it straight from bus’s mouth why school bus safety is important to everyone.
Buster, a small remote-control robotic school bus, was the star attraction at the safety assembly, and judging from the students’ reactions, he and his message were a hit.
“This is a form of safety training that goes out to all the schools in our district,” said Ken McMullan, Assistant Superintendent who oversees transportation in the district.
About 100 students packed the Noxapater school gym, where Buster put on quite a show zipping from side to side and even popping a few wheelies. Fair elementary received their program on Monday and Nanih Waiya received one later on Tuesday.
Though his antics were aimed at entertaining the youngsters, they accompanied a deadly serious message.
“You play a part in how safe the bus can be,” said Bryan Nash who operated Buster. “When you do something distracting and cause the bus driver to look up in the mirror, he or she takes their eyes off the road just for a few seconds, anything can happen.”
The lessons featured at the program included proper attention to crossing in front of the bus, crossing roads, behaving inside the bus and always listening to the driver as well as sitting quietly while the bus was in motion.
During Tuesday’s show Buster was operated by Nash owner of the company that presented the program. Nash used a remote control and voice modifier to use Buster to communicate to the students.
During the 20-minute presentation, Buster quizzed students on proper bus safety behavior and took questions from the audience.
“School bus safety starts at home,” Buster said. “Don’t get up and be running all around the house and be late for the bus. And, don’t miss the bus. If you do miss the bus, don’t run after it. Never run after the bus.”
Nash talking through Buster also noted the most dangerous time for students is getting on and off the bus.
“My ultimate goal is for all students to be safe,” McMullan denoting why the program was presented to the elementary students.