School Bus Driver

School Bus Driver

The Bus Driver

12 Years Experience

Southeast, GA

Female, 35

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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259 Questions

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Last Answer on September 13, 2018

Best Rated

How fast can a school bus go?

Asked by J-Bird over 5 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 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 5 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.

Do you think that the bullying problem is getting better in the last few years? There seems to be a lot of anti-bullying media campaigns, but is any of it making a difference as far as you can see?

Asked by Tev over 5 years ago

Honestly, if anything, I feel that the bullying problem seems to have gotten worse or at least more apparent.  There are alot of anti-bullying media campaigns out there because there is an increased awareness of the problem.  The issue now is more the bullies who blatantly bully in plain sight.  Bullying can take many forms, some obvious, and some very subtle.  The thing that has to happen in order for the bullying problem to decrease is for the consequence for bullying be something that the bullies actively dislike.  If they don't like the consequence, they will not bully as much.  The problem we have in school is that the consequences really have no effect on students that bully.  For a student who is a good student, rarely gets into trouble, a lunch detention or losing their recess is a big thing and enough of a deterrent to have them avoid getting into trouble because that student's parents are often active within the school and actively take part in their child's education.  If that student faces a consequence for misbehavior at school, it is likely that the same student will face similar consequences at home to show the student that the behavior in question will not be tolerated.  A bully or someone who is constantly in trouble for other reasons, really doesn't care much about the school consequence because when they get home, the parents may be absent or simply not care to follow it up at home.

Thats not to say that there are exceptions to that assumption, but those children who lack discipline at home will invariably be in trouble at school for misbehavior.  Some parents believe it is the school systems job to raise their child to be an upstanding citizen.

this question deals with the cameras installed on newer buses. Do the cameras still work even with the bus turned off? Do they still record?

Asked by RealBuesch27 almost 5 years ago

It varies from state to state, but in my district, the cameras are designed to keep running approximately 10 minutes after the bus has been turned off.  This is for safety reasons for the driver and for the kids.  It also provides enough time for the bus driver to walk the bus/sweep the bus at the end of the route.  This also is proof that the driver is doing their job by walking the bus and prevents the driver from getting in a compromising situation should a student be found on the bus after the route and the bus has been shut off.

I saw a school bus that parked perpendicular to the direction I was going to unload kids from the bus. I normally stop when it's parallel on a local street. Could I pass the bus if no kids crossed the direction I was going?

Asked by k.v about 5 years ago

If the bus is 30 feet from the intersection, then yes, you can continue travelling on the perpendicular road, however if the bus is closer than that and is clearly letting kids disembark from the bus, its better to be safe and stop than sorry because you ran over a child and were not looking.  Children are unpredictable and at any point can go a direction one least expects, including darting back across the street to the bus for a forgotten item.

what do you do if a student has a bathroom emergency on the bus

Asked by jan about 5 years ago

For bathroom emergencies, it can be a tricky situation.  In my district, it is left up to the bus driver's discretion.  Usually if a route is short - the kids will be home within 1 hour - I usually tell the children to wait until they get home.  Though there have been times where a route is longer, or the child is little (pre-k) in which case I'll stop at the bus shop, or at a school and get a teacher or older student (of same gender of child) to escort the child to the bathroom.  

I'd like to know if there are any school bus drivers who might be teachers. Also how does the bus driver handle students who behave badly on the bus? Is he or she allowed to discipline anyone?

Asked by Donny about 5 years ago

Some school bus drivers may be retired teachers.  Generally speaking, no, teachers are not school bus drivers, but paraprofessionals may choose to work as bus drivers to supplement their income too.   As for handling badly behaved students, our course of action can include many steps.  First we will typically try to manage the behavior on the bus by changing the students seat or assigning seats.  Then we try to contact the parents of the student in order to try to get the situation resolved.  If that fails then we write the students up and turn them into the schools.  From there, the administrators of the school can choose to further discipline the student by taking away bus riding privilege.  We are not allowed to physically discipline students as far as laying a hand on a student though.