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New Jersey Department of Children and Families Providing Signs Reminding Drivers to Check for Sleeping or Hiding Children


For Immediate Release Contact: Ernest Landante, Jr.
September 3, 2015 

TRENTON - School bus drivers are getting help remembering to never leave a child alone on a bus.

Thanks to the New Jersey Department of Children and Families (DCF), signs will soon appear on school buses reminding drivers to double-check for sleeping or hiding children.

"For small children, the first day of school should mean excitement for new adventures and being reunited with classmates," said DCF Commissioner Allison Blake.  "It should never include the trauma of being left helpless and alone on a bus."

Placed above the front doors where they can be seen by exiting bus drivers, the 17 inch by 4.5 inch signs offer a simple but important reminder: "Is everyone off the bus?  Check everywhere and be sure."

DCF has partnered with the School Transportation Supervisors of New Jersey and the New Jersey School Bus Contractors Association to advance the safety message.  Both groups are helping distribute the signs to their members.

"This is a simple but important way of reminding drivers to thoroughly inspect their bus for remaining children," said Ray Kuehner, STSNJ's president.

DCF's Institutional Abuse Investigation Unit investigated 56 allegations of child neglect stemming from children being left on a school bus or other transportation vehicle last year.  Twenty-eight allegations have been investigated so far this year.  Cases have included children as young as three years old and vehicles as small as a twelve passenger van.  Some children were trapped for hours and other children, having escaped the bus, were found wandering nearby.

"The signs reinforce the training bus drivers receive about the importance of post-trip inspections," said Mark Jordan, Student Transportation of America's director of operations for northern New Jersey.  "No child should ever be left alone on a bus and these signs will help prevent it from happening."

DCF is dedicated to ensuring a better today and an even greater tomorrow for every individual the department serves. In partnership with New Jersey's communities, DCF ensures the safety, well-being, and success of New Jersey's children and families. DCF funds and directly provides services and support to over 100,000 women, children, and families each month.

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