These programs teach driver education and traffic safety in K-12 schools. Each school district decides which programs they will offer and what curriculum will be used. Each program submits a request for an approved program to the WDE. Approved programs meet the requirements of Chapter 39. A listing of approved programs is available through the WYDOT website.
The WDE “Stop Means Stop” Program
Statistics are just numbers until that one statistic is someone you know, you work with, or even a family member; then it becomes personal. Statistically, you have hundreds of opportunities every day to save a life. You have one opportunity to make a difference – stop every time. Stop means Stop.
School buses travel 77,562 miles a day in Wyoming, transporting 37,472 students to and from school. These buses make hundreds of stops loading and unloading students every day. There are flashing red lights and a stop arm that comes out every time the bus stops. Yet, surprisingly, over 297 vehicles illegally passed these buses on one day last year; that’s 51,975 opportunities annually for a student to be injured or killed. Stop means Stop!
There are 1774 miles of railroad tracks in Wyoming with 1171 grade crossings of all types (only 170 have lights and gates). There are hundreds of trains that travel through the state daily. On average Wyoming has 5-10 collisions a year due to illegal crossing of the tracks when a train is approaching; leading to an average of two fatalities every year. The lights are flashing red, the train is approaching with the horn blowing and you are late for an appointment and just can’t wait. You decide to go across in front of the train. Did you make it, or are you the statistic?
There are 435,500 licensed drivers in the state of Wyoming. Some are going to school; some are going to work; while others head to the store to pick up groceries. Many more are taking their kids to and from daycare every day. What if all of them were on the road at the same time? That means 435,500 opportunities to stop or not.
There are thousands of traffic lights and stop signs throughout Wyoming. You roll up to the light, late for work for the third time this week. The light turns from green to yellow. You ask yourself, “am I feeling lucky? Late again, I might get fired”, so you gun it and hope for the best. The light turns red and an unmarked police car is right behind you. You just got lucky. You survive running the red light by not getting in an accident, receive your $100 ticket for running the red light and are still late for work again. Was it worth it? Still feeling lucky? The same scenario would apply to a stop sign.
Stop means Stop. Whether it’s a school bus stop arm, a traffic light that’s red, railroad crossing lights flashing red, or a simple stop sign, please STOP. Save a life, pay attention, and above all, STOP when you see these signs. The life you save could be your own.