2018-08-24 / Letters

Councilor: School buses are the way to go

To the editor:

Recent discussions about the location of a consolidated middle school have prompted debate and concern among parents who drive their children to school or allow their children to walk or bicycle to school.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has some statistics that are both sobering and reassuring:

• From 2005 to 2013, 23 percent of student deaths during school travel hours occurred while parents were driving their children to or from school.

• During that same period, 19 percent of student deaths during school travel hours occurred while students were using other methods of transportation such as walking or bicycling.

• Less than 1 percent of deaths during that period occurred while students were traveling aboard school buses.

By design, school buses are the safest mode of transportation on earth. School bus drivers are the safest drivers on the road.

When parents put their kids on the school bus instead of driving them to school, this results in a reduction of 36 cars from our city streets for each full school bus. This reduction of cars saves millions of gallons of fuel, prevents millions of pounds of carbon dioxide from polluting our air and cuts down on traffic congestion.

For those reasons and many more, parents should feel good about putting their kids on the bus, and all of us – whether we have school-age children or not – will benefit.

Adrian T. Dowling City councilor, District 5 South Portland

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