When you were younger and getting on a school bus, did you ever wonder “why are school buses yellow?” Well, until 1939 they were not just yellow, in fact, they also may have been red, blue, green, brown, and black.
Then in April 1939, a Columbia University professor received a grant of $5,000 from the Rockefeller Foundation to study school bus transportation issues. He found that school transportation was very unregulated with no consistency. At the time there were over 100,000 school districts (in contrast to the roughly 13,000 that exist today) and school systems were transporting their kids in a wide variety of automobiles and buses of various sizes, shapes, and colors.
So, the professor organized a nationwide conference of school officials and transportation specialists to come up with recommendations to standardize school bus requirements for color, height, weight, and safety rules…all of which varied from state to state at the time. One of the primary recommendations they came up with was a standard color that was a mix of bright orange and soft yellow. They named it National School Bus Chrome, but today it is known as National School Bus Glossy Yellow. They selected this “yellow color” primarily for the following safety reasons:
- Yellow stands out the most in any situation.
- Yellow is visible in the midst of fog and rain which is especially important due to the times of day when children are picked up and dropped off.
- Yellow is easier and faster to recognize than any other color including red. Also, yellow is considered to be a bright and optimistic color that denotes cheerfulness, sunshine, and smiles.
- Children chose yellow as the best of all the colors.
Thus, using yellow as the official school bus color not only ensures safety but hopefully gives kids a dose of cheerfulness as they start their school day. Thanks to the insight gathered from the 1939 conference, today yellow school buses are the official mandate in the U.S. and Canada as well as a majority of other countries around the world.
Now that you now know why they are yellow, call 631-271-8931 and schedule an interview today so you can become part of the Huntington Coach “Yellow Bus Driving Team”.