Guest post by DOE Director of School Transportation Charlie Hood
The beginning of school doesn’t just mean the start of classes and homework – it means a big increase in traffic, both vehicle and pedestrian. Our Florida bus drivers are up for the challenge and take pride in getting your students to school safely and on time.
How many hours of training and certification have you had to go through to get a job? Maybe a lot, maybe close to none; but, if you work with students, chances are you have been physically and mentally tested for everything under the sun – and rightfully so.
The same is true for Florida’s school bus drivers.
The rigorous process of training (40 hours at a minimum), drug and alcohol testing, (even checking with previous employers for past drug test results) and rigorous physical exams are all part of the qualifications necessary for bus drivers. As you can see, school bus drivers are evaluated for quite a few things. And then of course, they have to meet the requirements to do the job – and that’s to operate a moving vehicle safely from each stop to and from the school – while managing student behavior.
School buses are extremely safe tanks, with each one featuring an assortment of safety mechanisms that well exceed what any other vehicle must have. In fact, each bus can take a great deal of impact without crushing, and the seats are set up to protect riders if an accident occurs.
Does your child take the bus to school? Why or why not?
As a side note, I encourage educators, parents and other drivers to brush up on how to safely maneuver school zones and buses. Be safe out there, and have a wonderful school year!