Buster rolls into Pecan Park to drive home safety tips
Bus safety, usually a yawn-inducing topic, found an attentive audience on Oct. 18 at Pecan Park Elementary School in Ocean Springs.
Kindergarten students gleefully interacted with Buster, a robotic model school bus designed to better instruct students about bus safety.
The miniature yellow bus rolled across the gym floor, its eyes open and lights blinking, as observant students watched in amazement.
Buster is a remote control car with a voice synthesizer, controlled by Bryan Nash, a retired Tuscaloosa County Schools transportation director. Nash travels to many states in the southeast teaching students about the dos and don’ts of bus safety.
“As adults we can stand up here and talk at them all day long,” Nash said. “With Buster, I can hold their attention.”
He said, “We talk about things such as getting up on time, which helps get students to the bus stop on time; where to stand while waiting for the bus; and how to load and unload the bus safely, as well as how to properly sit in the bus seats.”
During this important 40-minute demonstration, Buster found time to crack some jokes, sing and dance, and have both student and teacher volunteers to demonstrate safety procedures.
“Now wiggle around like you’ve got a frog in your britches,” Buster told kindergarten teacher Sandra Hillburn. The teacher quickly jumped around, swinging her arms while the audience laughed and cheered.
“Well, that actually had nothing to do with bus safety, but I just wanted to see if you could follow directions,” Buster said. “And it’s pretty funny to see what someone looks like with a frog in their britches.”
The students had a fun-filled time while learning the importance of bus safety.
Here are some of Buster’s tips:
– Arrive at the bus stop 5 minutes before the bus is to arrive
– Stand 10 feet away from the bus
– Never walk behind the bus
– No running or playing on the bus
– No standing when the bus is moving
– Do not put hands or heads out of the bus windows.