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School Bus Drivers: Combating Distracted Driving

Distracted driving is a serious problem on America's roads.  According to compiled statistics, nine people die every day due to a distracted driver, while hundreds more are injured. Distracted driving can happen almost anywhere, at any time, to anyone - including your school bus drivers.

Just How Serious Is the School Bus Driver Shortage?

For years, the education sector has been plagued by a school bus driver shortage, and there's no end yet in sight. All signs and surveys point towards districts continuing to struggle to find sufficient drivers to cover their routes. That's causing continuing problems within the district administration, as well as for huge numbers of parents and students trying to find stable transportation options.

Tennessee School Bus Driver Uses Phone Behind the Wheel

When a parent allows their child to ride a bus, there's a lot of trust involved. They need to believe that the driver is going to protect the students, and consider school bus safety to be their top priority. Unfortunately, this is not always the case - as we see in a recent incident in which a Tennessee driver was caught texting-and-driving multiple days in a row.

Tough polices have already ensured that the driver is no longer behind the wheel, but it suggests a problem that still has yet to be fully solved.

Texas District Implements Paid School Bus Driver Training

Across the country, one of the biggest challenges facing district transportation directors is simply one of staffing. The nationwide school bus driver shortage continues in full swing, with the majority of districts reporting that they lack all the drivers they want. 

However, School Transportation News is now reporting on a recruitment plan pioneered by Bryan ISD in Texas which is simple, straightforward and - so far - successful: Paying new workers for school bus driver training aimed at getting their Commercial Driver's License (CDL). 

School Bus Drivers: Understanding Miranda's Law

In May 2018, a truly tragic school bus accident occurred in New Jersey. A bus traveling on I-80 apparently overshot its intended exit, causing the driver to attempt to pull a massive U-turn across multiple lanes. This led to a direct side-on collision from a garbage truck as the bus drove perpendicular to traffic, leading to the deaths of both a student, Miranda Vargas, as well as a teacher.

Florida School Bus Drivers Now Required to Have First Aid Training

Any time a child dies on-board a school bus, it's a tragedy - but it's particularly tragic when the death would have been preventable. That is the case in the death of Terissa Gautney on Feb 28, 2018, on a school bus in Bartow, Florida. Terissa was a special needs student with medical issues, who experienced a silent seizure followed by respiratory distress.

School Bus Driver Shortage: Indiana District Turns to Teachers

School districts around the nation continue to suffer from the school bus driver shortage, with no relief in sight. It may even be getting worse. In a recent online poll of School Transportation News readers, an astounding eighty-four percent of districts reported that they were short of bus drivers.

Retraining School Bus Drivers: Four Tips

All school bus drivers will spend plenty of time in training sessions throughout their career, with much of it mandated by local or state laws. However, sometimes you may have one or more drivers who need more intensive retraining to get them back on track. This can be a tricky proposition because retraining carries a stigma, and can easily be seen as punitive or threatening.

In other situations, that might not be so much of a problem - but with the school bus driver shortage still a major issue, you really need to retain the drivers you have! As such, it's important to conduct your retraining sessions in ways that maximize their potential to improve driver performance, without causing any new problems.

How School Bus Drivers Can Encourage Reading And Studying On The Route

Like many people, we were charmed by the recent Motherly article making the rounds about an Arkansas bus driver encouraging reading on her bus. If you missed it, a bus driver and special ed teacher named Julie Callison keeps a bucket full of books on her bus - encouraging students to take a few whenever they get on board. It was such a small thing, but it reminded us how school bus drivers can be educators as well.

School Bus Drivers Must Constantly Adapt to Changing Weather

While politicians may still argue over the impact of global climate change, few people on the ground still seriously doubt that climate change is real - and it's causing a lot of unpredictable weather. School districts and school bus drivers need to be prepared to deal with weather that can shift rapidly and have ways of dealing with the sudden appearance of dangerous storms.

 

 

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