The employees at Student Transportation of America say their buses are extremely safe, with each aspect of the vehicle being engineered for a reason.
“The seats are what they call compartmentalization, they’re designed to absorb the impact with the padding and the give of the seats is designed to protect the students when they are in an impact. So it kind of puts them in a little cocoon,” said Santa Maria branch of Student Transportation of America Maintenance Manager Jay Patten.
Should the students get into an accident on the bus, S.T.A. says their drivers go through drills with students to teach them what to do.
“Using one of our rear exits or our side exits, preferably we pull into the school backwards so we can use the side exit emergency evacuation procedure. All the instructions are on the door: how to use it, the padding, and what it is,” said Safety and Training Supervisor Jana Graham.
As for the drivers themselves, S.T.A says they go through the most extensive training drivers can possibly have before they get behind the wheel.
“They go through classroom training, they go through the testing portion of it which is done through the DMV and the California Highway Patrol and they also get interviewed with the California Highway Patrol,” Area Safety Manager Barbara Samaniego said.
The extensive training and safety precautions are why the transportation company believes there’s no safer place for children to be on the road.
“I feel that this is a lot safer than [parents] driving [their kids] to school themselves. We have a bus driver that has been trained and certified and their objective is to get every child to school safe and sound,” said Samaniego.
The Student Transportation of America said they are glad that California Highway Patrol did their investigation and determined the driver was at fault. The company is also glad there were no further injuries to the kids, their driver or anyone else involved.