BECKLEY, WV (WVNS) — Although riding a bus to school is statistically very safe, the West Virginia Governor’s Highway Safety Program reports that the number of deaths outside or near the bus is significantly higher.

The Governor’s Office reported on data collected by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) which cites 183 pedestrian deaths and 112 deaths of occupants in school bus related crashes from 2011 to 2020.

Raleigh County Schools Transportation Director Gary Daniel on Wednesday, October 19, 2022, urged motorists to obey the stop signs on school buses and to slow down or stop when they see flashing lights.

“If you feel like you’re in a hurry, try to leave a little earlier,” Daniel advised. “And understand, these are children. They may not always act the way we expect them to.”

Daniel emphasized that Raleigh County Schools transports 8,000 to 9,000 children each day on 120 school buses.

“Remember we’re transporting the most precious cargo in parents’ lives,” said Their children. We want to get them to school safely so they can get a good education and we want to get them home safely.

“So anything you can do to help us with that, we appreciate.”