The state of California recognizes the fourth Tuesday of April as School Bus Driver Day.

The California Highway Patrol joins with the Legislature and Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. in publicly expressing great appreciation to the state’s school bus drivers for safely transporting our most cherished cargo to and from school and school activities; escorting them safely across the streets and highways; helping them board school buses via wheelchair lifts and ramps; buckling seat belts; and finally delivering them safely to parents and guardians at the end of the school day.

“These are some of the most professional drivers in the state, and they’re passionate about what they do,” said CHP Commissioner Joe Farrow. I applaud them for their extraordinary safety record and the pride they take every day in the safe transportation of California’s children.”

School bus drivers will tell you their primary goal is pupil safety. They are extensively trained and rigorously tested to ensure this goal remains first and foremost in their thinking and actions when transporting children.

While crashes may occur, school bus drivers have traveled millions of collision-free miles over the years.

Despite the number of school buses being operated throughout the state, school buses remain one of the safest modes of school transportation.

In fact, California has not experienced a pupil-passenger fatality in 15 years. This can be attributed to the school bus drivers’ commitment to safety, their excellent driving skills and attention to detail.

Though school bus drivers do their part to safely transport school children to and from their destinations, the motoring public has an obligation to do their part as well.

Most school bus-related injuries and fatalities occur around or near the school bus during the loading and unloading process. Therefore, it is essential the motoring public be reminded to exercise due caution when driving near schools and school buses.

Slow to 25 miles per hour in school zones unless a lower speed is posted and stop behind a school bus when the flashing red lights and stop arm are activated.