School Bus Driver

School Bus Driver

The Bus Driver

15 Years Experience

South, ..

Female, 37

I have been a bus driver since late 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 used to have a blog, feel free to browse it or ask me a question here.

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Last Answer on February 07, 2021

Best Rated

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

Asked by simba07 about 8 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.

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

Asked by boltthrower about 8 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.

How fast can a school bus go?

Asked by J-Bird about 8 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.

Why is the district not letting me do the wheelchair tie downs? i cant believe that they that have you guys to do it...

Asked by ronda about 8 years ago

Well, I think part of the reason they do not let you tie your wheelchair down yourself is because the driver/aide must be sure that the wheelchair is adequately secured in the bus. If the bus were to get into an accident and you were hurt because your wheelchair was not tied down properly by you, it can be a liability to the district. Also, if you are riding the bus as a passenger, the driver is still having the full responsibility of everyone on their bus.

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 8 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.

Hi, with all due respect I have always wondered why bus drivers appear to be so grouchy. Is it because of the lack of sleep and unruly kids? I've never met the cheery bus driver as I see on movies. Just wondering!

Asked by Strangette almost 8 years ago

Sometimes even the most seasoned bus driver isn't always cheerful in the mornings.  I do try to greet my students with a good morning, even if I'm not the most cheerful.  Yes sometimes the behavior does affect my mood, but when you think of bus drivers in movies, they're simply actors, they get paid to be all cheery.  We are doing a job that is often thankless and can be very difficult.

Do you think special needs children should be on "short buses?" Seems pretty alienating.

Asked by Timmy two times over 8 years ago

Good question. The fact of the matter is, "short buses" as you put them have special factory options installed. Often seatbelts, wheelchair tie downs, and wheelchair lifts. We have to make sure that all students, regardless of disability, have an equal opportunity to attend school. I don't know the reason why these buses are often shorter than regular education buses, however, I have a theory. Alot of times, these buses have to be small enough to be able to enter a persons driveway in order to pick up a student in need. A larger regular education bus is not designed for tight turns and pick up door to door. Students have to meet us at the street/central location to board the buses in those cases. Often special education buses have a driver and an aide on the bus to handle any problem that may come up, such as a student having a seizure or an autistic child having issues with noise. These buses are also often quieter than regular education buses which help a student who is autistic as they usually cannot handle loud noise like everyone else. Hope this helps.