American yellow school bus

(VOVWORLD) - A school bus is used to transport students to and from school or school-related activities. Around the world, various configurations of buses are used; the most iconic examples are the yellow school buses seen in the United States. What else should we know about these bright and colorful American icons?  Let’s talk to Joe Fitzsimmons, an English language teacher and photographer to learn more about this vehicle. 

Hi Joe! Let’s talk about yellow school bus. What are the main functions of the school bus?

The Yellow school bus drops you off near your home and picks you up, to drive you to school. It is definitely interesting vehicle. And it is interesting that people from different countries are fascinated by this yellow school bus.

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You probably have spent hours and hours in a school bus? What are some cool aspects of the school bus that you experienced?

I spent many hours in the school bus. I think another interesting aspect of the school bus is the dynamic of the people inside of it. It is usually high school and grade school, so you have many different ages. So for example, if you go to junior high, you may have kids from several different grade schools. You may not know these kids but by the end of the school year, you may be best friend with them. And you know I have a lot of fun on the bus because I got into a lot of trouble on the bus. I was a big trouble maker. It is an interesting place, and a fun place to be. You got the boys and the girls; you got the first grade, and the fifth grade. It is an interesting culture inside the school bus. But the school bus was not fun for everybody. There are always shy kids, the kids who were different or didn’t know anybody so it wasn’t easy for everybody.

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Who run the school bus?

I am not sure exactly because each state is different. I assume that most states are the same. It is the school district. So you have a state, California for example. You have a state and then each state has different counties and then each county has different school district. It debited into different school districts, and the school district has control over buses, the routes, the times. It maybe depends on the size of the city, the size of the state, and the size of the county. There may be one high school in the district or it maybe six or seven high schools in the district. There maybe four grade schools or it maybe 50 grade schools in the district, it depends.

How about the bus drivers? Who hires them?

But the bus drivers have to get tested for drugs, and criminal background testing so the school district handles all the hiring of the bus drivers as well.

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What are the school bus stop laws?

That is the law. So when the school bus stops, when the driver opens the door on the right side a little red stop sign on the left side will come out , all the cars have to stop. But only the cars in that line, the cars going the other direction, if it is a bigger street it depends on the size of the street. It is a two-line road, and then I believe both sides have to stop. But if it is a big street like four-line then the other cars don’t have to stop. You can get arrested if violating that. It can be annoying sometimes because if you are driving somewhere and you forget that it is 3:30 pm. All the kids are going home then there some streets the bus stops like every 30 seconds then it takes forever to go somewhere. It can cause some traffic, some delays, sometimes.

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Do you know why the color of yellow was chosen for the school bus?

I think because yellow is the safest color especially at night. I think it is safety issue for visibility. Yellow was adopted as a standard color for North American school buses beginning in 1939. The color which became known as "school bus yellow" was selected because black lettering on that specific hue was easiest to see in the semi-darkness of early morning and late afternoon. You don’t want a black school bus for sure. For example, in Chicago, it gets dark in the winter around 4:30 pm and when you have a lot of high school students in particular who have extra circular activities, particular sport, a basketball team has the game competition at another school, they are not gonna get home it is dark, so it is less safe to have a dark or black school bus.

Thank you very much for talking to us today about the yellow school bus. Next week, we’ll share some more interesting facts about American culture. For VOV24/7’s Culture Rendezvous, this is Minh My saying: Goodbye!

                                                                               Minh My