School Bus Driver

School Bus Driver

The Bus Driver

10 Years Experience

Southeast, GA

Female, 34

I have been a bus driver since October 2006. I know the inside story, the scoop, the down low dirt of what it takes to be a bus driver, how to handle kids and adults, and how to survive on the "streets" so to speak. I have a blog, feel free to browse it or ask me a question here.

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238 Questions

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Last Answer on September 20, 2017

Best Rated

Are there any rules about how many hours must have passed since your last alcoholic beverage before you can drive a bus? e.g. If you have to pick the kids up at 7am, can you have a drink at 11pm the night before?

Asked by ScottyB over 5 years ago

Since I do not drink by choice, I don't know if there is an unofficial "rule". Since alcohol is NOT illegal to consume, the best advice I can give is to use moderation. Bus drivers are subject to random alcohol and drug testing, so if you're concerned about it showing up, then the rule of thumb is not to do it.

Which passengers are worse: kids on school buses, or adults on municipal buses?

Asked by Danielle about 5 years ago

Each job has its selection of characters. Most of the time, a majority of the behavior problems I experience comes from the kids, but we do have adults who can be quite "special" in their behavior as well. I believe that the reason why adults tend to be better behaved is because they actually WANT to ride the bus, or HAVE to ride the bus to get to work, the grocery store, the movies, wherever.

How fast can a school bus go?

Asked by J-Bird over 4 years ago

Federal law states that a school bus can go no faster than 40 mph on route and up to 55 mph on highways. Many school buses are governed down so they cannot go faster than a certain speed. In my district, the buses WERE governed to 65 mph, but some drivers were breaking the speed limit, so we were then governed down to between 55 and 60 mph. Other districts do not govern their school buses down. If you see a bus driver acting reckless by speeding faster than 70 mph on a highway, feel free to call it in and report them.

What, if anything, do you think is missing from the modern-day school bus? Seat belts? Power windows? Extra supervision?

Asked by simba07 over 4 years ago

Well, things like power windows are not practical because the kids would be forever playing with them, and we don't need any more buttons to deal with. A lot of the newer buses are equipped with power mirrors, mirror defoggers/defrosters, air ride seats, and air conditioning. One thing that I would like to see is better running/back up lights on the exterior of the bus for when we have to do turn around's in the dark. Another thing that I would like to see in addition to the air ride seats, is more cushioning/comfort in the drivers seats since we are often on the road for very long hours. In an ideal world, every bus would have an aide on it to monitor and help defuse behavior problems as well, but funding is just not available.

Why do so many school buses have white tops now? (pic: http://news-press.net/blogs/chalkboard/files/2009/11/School-bus.jpg)

Asked by Sox over 4 years ago

That is a good question. I actually had to look up the answer myself as I had not remembered what they said in training class. The white top of a school bus is reportedly a measure enacted to help cool the school bus. We do not have air conditioning on buses in my district, and the white tops supposedly keep the heat down inside the bus. Some newer models have tinted windows which also try to keep the heat from entering the bus. Another reason there are white tops, and strobe lights on the top of buses, is to assist with visibility from the air and on the ground.

I have a boss that thinks I should not need to stop for 5 min to use the restroom after 2 hrs of driving. This is after I have delivered students at 2 different schools, driven about 35 mi, and before I pick up more students and drive another
15 mi

Asked by avatar over 4 years ago

I think you ought to be allowed to use the bathroom should you need it, however if you are leaving students unattended on your bus, I can see your boss' problem with you using the bathroom. If it is simply a matter of you pulling the bus over in a public area at a gas station, your boss may be wanting to avoid phone calls from the "concerned public" of buses parking in places where they shouldn't. After all, the county public pays your salary right? (That was a bit of sarcasm.) One thing your boss may be concerned about is you getting students to school on time. If you only need 5 minutes to use the restroom, simply back your route up by 5 minutes so that you budget that "bathroom time" into your route.

Was it difficult to learn how to drive a bus? How much training is involved?

Asked by boltthrower over 4 years ago

It wasn't difficult at all. Its just like driving a very very very long SUV. You do have to have good spatial awareness to know where your tail end is from your front end, but overall, it wasn't hard. As far as training, you need to have a CDL B with a passenger and school bus endorsements. The other types of training as far as hands on and classroom time vary by state. Your local bus shop should have the information you need as far as when the next class is.