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Safety, Safety, Safety
Written by Carol Zook
Illustration by Julie Hammond

    Tyler stood at the corner waiting for his bus on the first day of school. When it came, he saw it wasn’t the same bus he rode last year.

   “Wow, Jim,” he said as he got on. “I didn’t know we’d be riding a new bus.”

   “It just came in a couple of weeks ago,” Jim said as he pushed the button that closed the door. “You're the first student to ride in it.”

    Tyler took the seat behind Jim so they could talk. It was awhile before the next pick up.

   “I went to a safety conference and met some of the people who designed this bus,” said Jim. “The engineers told me that they worked two years designing this model.”

   “That’s a long time,” said Tyler leaning back in his seat.

   “Yep,” said Jim. “And did you know that the school bus is the safest form of transportation? This bus was built in a factory in Oklahoma and took two days before it came off the line.”

   “It sure looks nice and has a good smell, but is it any different from our old bus?” asked Tyler.

   “It’s “greener” than the old bus,” said Jim. “The emissions are cleaner and it gets better gas mileage.”

   “It looks bigger,” said Tyler. “How many kids does it hold?”

   “This model seats sixty-six,” said Jim. “Most of the buses we bought are this size. Some are special, though. They are a little smaller and have special wheelchair lifts.”

   Jim pulled up to the next stop and other children got on. They were excited about the new bus and the new school year.

   “This is cool, Jim,” said Alec as he sat down next to Tyler. “How much did it cost?”

   “Oh, about $75,000,” said Jim. “Your dad could buy three new cars for that.”

   “That’s a lot,” said Tyler.

   “The nice thing is we should be using this bus for fifteen years or so. You boys will have graduated before that.”

   Jim stopped several other times to pick up children. Finally, they were headed for school.

   “Did you have special training to be a bus driver, Jim?” asked Tyler.

   “I had to attend a driving class and get a special license,” answered Jim. “We were taught that the most important thing to think about is safety, safety, safety.

    “And speaking of safety, here we are the school,” said Tyler. “Thanks for the ride Jim. See ya” after school.”

   “Yeah, thanks,” said Alec.

   And the two boys rushed in to start a new school year.