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Seneca Valley student makes bus safety video as part of senior project

| Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2012, 9:36 p.m.
Cranberry Journal
Brendan Linton, 17, decided that for his senior project at Seneca Valley, he would make people aware of safety procedures involving school buses. Submitted

Brendan Linton, 17, a Cranberry resident and student at Seneca Valley Senior High School, takes the bus every morning from his Freedom Road pickup spot as long as his schedule allows for it.

As a bus passenger, Linton noticed that there are a lot of safety violations that typical motorists commit, which put students in danger.

In October, Linton decided to make an informational bus safety video as part of his senior project that is focused on pedestrian and bicyclist safety.

The video shows real scenarios of students being dropped off at home or picked up for school and how driver's neglect to adhere to the state laws that are in effect.

Linton said he sees pedestrians' “safety being jeopardized.” The concern is heightened for elementary school students who probably don't know the signs and rules as well as older students do, he said.

He notes, in the video, that there are about 1,000 bus safety violations each year.

The Seneca Valley Schools use 152 buses to transport students to and from the facilities, said Jim Pearson, the school district's transportation director.

Pearson is thankful for Linton's work on the video.

“The more that your public is aware of what the rules are … everyone will be safer,” Pearson said.

The video was put on YouTube , the Cranberry Township website and was featured on SVTV, which broadcasts to about 70,000 residents, Linton said.

“There was a wide variety of audiences.”

An important aspect to remember is that the buses can run as late as 7 p.m. said Jim Mings, the safety director for the bus transportation company AJ Meyers and Sons.

He said that motorists will disregard the red flashing lights on the bus when it is stopping,

“It's not uncommon but it is very, very dangerous.”

Travelling by bus is still safer than other modes of transportation, Mings said. Parents are encouraged to have their children ride the bus and car drivers are encouraged to follow the law. As a typical rule for those driving in cars, Pearson suggests, “If in doubt, stop.”

Linton had fun making the video with the help of Michala McCullough, 18, another student at the senior high school. Linton hopes it will benefit the community.

He plans to attend the California University of Pennsylvania for meteorology.

Matt DeFusco is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at mdefusco@tribweb.com.

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