Victoria Independent School District (VISD) is proud to announce its participation in National School Bus Safety Week, which will take place from October 16th to October 23rd, 2023. This week serves as an opportunity for communities nationwide to come together and recognize the paramount importance of school bus safety.
While school buses are widely acknowledged as one of the safest modes of transportation for students, the illegal passing of school buses remains a critical safety concern for our children. It is during the moments when students are loading or unloading from a school bus, not while riding in it, that the most significant safety risk occurs.
This past summer, the VISD Transportation Department took proactive measures to enhance the visibility and safety of our school buses during early morning and late evening routes. We are delighted to share that we have successfully purchased and installed illuminated school bus signs on 13 school buses serving rural areas during these times. These illuminated signs provide oncoming motorists with increased visibility and crucial reaction time, significantly reducing the potential for life-threatening situations. Our commitment to student and staff safety is unwavering, and we aim to expand the use of these illuminated signs across our school bus fleet and make them a standard feature when ordering new buses.
Reflecting on the District's history, in the early days of VISD, public school transportation was an invaluable asset, ensuring that every child had access to education, regardless of their distance from school. Students once walked, bicycled, or rode their horses to school, with horses waiting in stock pens until the school day's end. The introduction of public school transportation marked a transformative shift, alleviating transportation worries and enabling students to focus on their studies.
Today, the VISD Transportation Department operates 38 bus routes every morning and afternoon, with an average of 4,721 daily bus riders during the 2022-23 school year. Excluding extracurricular trips, VISD Transportation covered a remarkable 803,000 miles for regular routes. These statistics underscore the immense value that public school transportation brings to the district, beyond convenience. It fosters a sense of community and ensures that every child has equal access to a quality education.