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

Why don't school buses have seat belts?

Asked by JRock over 5 years ago

Well, there is the logical question of, "How are we going to get 70 something kids to sit down and buckle up?" I'd be forever sitting by the side of the road trying to get the kids buckled. Then there is also the ever present question, "What about an accident?" Some little kids on the buses do not have the dexterity to push the button on the seatbelt release, therefore the responsibility falls to the bus driver. If the bus driver is incapacitated, then what? It is often thought that school buses are simply safer by using a method called compartmentalization, that is why the seats on newer buses are at least a foot taller than the older buses. Should there be an accident (excluding rolling over or tipping on the side) then the children are likely to stay in one area. Hope this answers your question.

Is it the school bus driver's responsibility to make sure someone is home to receive the kids when they get home? If someone's not home, what do you do then?

Asked by ryguy over 5 years ago

Depending on the age of the child, we do like to see a parent/guardian/babysitter there when the child gets off the bus. Federal Law states that children under a certain age cannot be left home alone. I'm not exactly sure of the age but i think its 10 yrs old or under. Most kids have parents or someone waiting for them when they get home. We cannot be sure that every child has someone waiting for them (in cases of dropping kids off at an apartment complex), however, we can try to be sure that someone IS waiting for them and be proactive. If someone is not home to receive the child, we will typically try to call the emergency numbers (if the numbers work) and try to get someone to be available to receive the child. Occasionally, if the parents are habitual about not being home, or we cannot reach anyone through the phone numbers provided, we will take the child to the police station and let the professionals handle it.

If a school bus driver gets into an accident and it's his fault, would he lose his job?

Asked by SD_Tim over 5 years ago

That's a good question. It really depends on the company you work for, the situation at the time of the accident, and the circumstances surrounding the incident. For something simple, non serious, as a fender bender or striking a deer/other large animal, its likely you wouldn't lose your job pending the outcome of a drug test. For something more serious where human lives are lost or there is some severe damage, it is likely you would lose your job. Again it really depends on the company. Personally, I've been in a "fender bender" situation, I did not lose my job even though I was at fault. It was a matter of lack of visibility and someone being stupid by tailgating my school bus. I went to back up and turn around, and the guy was right under my bumper - where I couldn't see him even though I checked my mirrors. I did not get cited for the accident, though I was deemed "at fault", because the other driver did not have insurance. It was an honest mistake. One thing that happens at every accident regardless of who is at fault, is a drug test.

Do you see a lot of bullying on your school buses, and if so, what do you do to stop it?

Asked by Sarah J over 5 years ago

Bullying... the quintessential problem for any person who is in the school system, be it teacher, bus driver, or even custodian. I have experienced bullying a time or two on the bus and I immediately put a stop to it. The child who is bullying gets wrote up and turned into the school for disciplinary action. I also take a look at the video tape (all our buses have cameras with vhs or digital recording) and determine if the one who is bullying is also being bullied. If that is the case, then those who are involved get wrote up. In order to prevent further bullying out of earshot of me, I often will move those students to the first 2-4 seats so that I can hear and keep a better eye out on them.

Do you ever have to deal with angry parents? Like those whose kids are getting beat up on the bus?

Asked by tiffyplz over 5 years ago

All the time. Parents get irritated or angry at us for one reason or another. They don't like the seat their child is assigned to sit in, their child can't sit next to so and so, their child came home with a bus citation for poor behavior on the bus. You name it, they get frustrated and angry with us. Most of the time, I am able to calm them down, but the few I cannot calm down, I invite them to call my boss and set up a meeting where their concerns can be handled appropriately. If a child is being bullied or beat up on the bus, I do appreciate a parent coming to me with a concern so that I can be aware of the bullying situation and handle it appropriately and immediately.

If you're late in getting the kids to school, are you penalized in any way?

Asked by Tabitha74 over 5 years ago

No, we will call or radio ahead to notify the bus shop and the school that we are going to be late. We do this so we do not get in trouble and the kids who are riding our buses can get breakfast and get to class in a reasonable amount of time as well. High schoolers especially worry about getting to class on time and the little kids usually eat breakfast at school, so we try to make accommodations for them because many of them have not eaten breakfast at home. Sometimes being late is inevitable, we have to wait on a train, accident, or other thing that holds us up.

Should school boards hire adults to supervise children on school buses? Especially for children that are being bullied.

Asked by CH over 4 years ago

The idea of hiring adults to act as monitors is a good idea, but sadly many school systems just do not have the money to provide this service. If a child is being bullied, I recommend that a parent take it to the bus driver and notify the bus driver, and if that does not get results, then the parent can also call the bus supervisor and get it handled from there. Unfortunately, we do not have eyes and ears in the back of our heads so unless there is a really serious situation going on, we really honestly have no idea and cannot DO anything about the situation unless the child/parent/other children speak up and let us know. Certain laws mandate that there be an aide on certain buses such as special education buses, and sometimes school districts will opt to provide a monitor or aide for buses that are particularly troublesome. As always, safety of our children is our utmost concern.

Growing up I always remember how getting the back seat on the school bus was kind of a big deal to kids. Is that still the case? Ever see kids get into fights over it?

Asked by slowgrind over 5 years ago

It is a big deal for the younger kids, however bus drivers often solve that problem by either assigning seats or letting just the high school age kids sit in the back of the bus. There has never been an all out brawl over the back seats and often I will make the children move from the last two seats on the bus due to safety issues. In an ideal world, those two seats would not be filled by students.

What certifications do you need to drive a school bus? Is there a special driver's test? Is it easy/difficult?

Asked by gregg over 5 years ago

You need a Commerical Drivers Licence (CDL) A or B - With Passenger and School Bus endorsements. Typically a CDL A class will cover most of what you need to know about driving a large vehicle and all you would need to do is take the tests for the passenger and school bus endorsements. A CDL B will do the same thing, except you cannot drive 18 wheelers with the CDL B license. Everyone is different in how they take and pass the classes, but in my opinion, its really not all that hard if you study. Most bus companies offer training which will help you obtain your license.

I realize it could be costly, but why don't school buses have a chaperone on the bus to mind younger children? Seems unreasonable - and even dangerous - to have you mind the road AND the children.

Asked by gracie over 5 years ago

Some individual systems provide a budget to have aides on all buses, however aides are typically found on special ed buses. Occasionally a school system will make an exception to the traditional one adult per bus and hire an aide for those buses whose behavior problems have proven a need for an aide to manage while the bus driver drives. Most of the time, the kids are fairly well behaved. They usually sit down like they are supposed to and can get a little loud at times, but very rarely do I experience extreme behavior problems that would require a full time aide. Often the reason why there is no aide on all buses is because of budget issues. My system is facing 9 furlough days due to budget cuts and the money is simply not in the budget.

Do the kids treat you with the same amount of respect as other authority figures at school?

Asked by goltar_x over 5 years ago

Most kids do. However, we do get a few kids who will not respect us the same way they respect their teachers and other authority figures, but chances are good they just have a problem with authority figures in general and have been in trouble at school, at home, and then, on the bus. Most of the time, I manage the kids and their behavior very well, and they know when they have pushed me too far. The few that have the authority problems, will likely always have authority problems until they learn to grow up.

If a kid is just so unruly that it's more than you can handle, can you get his bus privileges revoked?

Asked by Jaime over 5 years ago

Yes, riding the buses in the USA is a privilege, not a right. We have the power to get their bus riding privilege revoked, but we have to go through the school and show a track record through write ups, warnings, parent conferences, etc, with no changes before we can actually get the privilege revoked. In my school system, the kids who get written up have a progressive consequence. First write up is a warning. Second, is 1-3 days off the bus, third is 3-5 days off the bus, fourth is 5-10 days off, and then finally off for the rest of the semester or year. Unfortunately in my system, not all principals follow the system dictated by the school board and the parents will and have gone to the school board over their child losing riding privileges even though the behavior has not changed. Its frustrating for us.

Do parents tip school bus drivers during the holidays and/or at the end of the school year, and if so how much is typical?

Asked by abter1 over 5 years ago

No. Though we do have a bus driver appreciation week and occasionally regular bus drivers will receive small gifts from their students and families at the holidays. It is not typical to find and really depends on how well the bus driver works with families. Some drivers have had their routes for 15+ years and often have developed a rapport with the families on their routes. Gifts and tips are definitely appreciated by bus drivers. I also work as a Transit driver, and I do occasionally get a tip from passengers. Again its much appreciated, but not necessary.

Do you play the radio on your school bus and do you let the kids decide on which station to play? Or is it "driver's choice?"

Asked by Jules over 5 years ago

That depends on the bus. Since I bounce from bus to bus, some buses work better with the radio on, others get horribly obnoxious and cannot handle listening to the radio. (They forget they are in a moving vehicle and think they are in some nightclub.) Depending on the bus, or my mood, I will typically give the kids a choice between certain radio stations, or simply put on the one radio station that will satisfy nearly everyone on the bus. I refuse to listen to songs or stations that play songs that have an inordinate amount of swear words where half the song is "blanked" out due to the cussing. Its not appropriate to listen to on a school bus that has kids ranging in age from 4 years old to 18 years old. Since we have all ages on the buses, I have to be careful the type of music I let the kids listen to. During the holidays, I do have a couple of holiday cd's and there is a local station that will play holiday music. Usually, regardless of what bus I am on in the month of December, if the radio works on the bus I am driving, its driver's choice. Every now and again if I have a bus that has a designated high school run, I will allow the high schoolers to choose the radio station, since by that age, most of them tend to be responsible enough to listen to it properly. Those buses often do 2-3 runs in the morning and in the afternoon due to the amount of children on the route.

I assume you've seen this video of the bullied school bus monitor, but just in case: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E12R9fMMtos. Any thoughts on this? How does something like that happen?

Asked by Marissa over 5 years ago

This was a very hard video to watch, and in fact, I could not watch it all the way through. I address this issue on my blog. However to answer your question - Kids are mean. They do not think before they speak and often will torment others just because they can. I've been bullied by the kids before because of my size, and I don't let it bother me, and turn in those that are bullying. Unfortunately the consequences for the students who bully are not severe enough to STOP the bullying. Too many excuses for poor behavior.

Do bus drivers (or whoever is the head of the bus driving department) have any say in a school district's decision to close schools due to inclement weather?

Asked by Heya over 5 years ago

That's a good question - I'm not really sure how it works in other states and each individual school district has their own policies on what is considered inclement weather, but our district rarely closes for inclement weather. The one time we did, since I've been there, I think it was a combination of the transportation department and the school board deciding what was safest for the students. We had experienced some torrential rain which washed out a lot of our roads and caused some very unsafe conditions for students, so the school was closed because of the road conditions caused by the rain.

Are you responsible for cleaning your bus, or is that something the school takes care of? Either way, how often does it get done?

Asked by Mr clean about 5 years ago

In my county, yes, we are responsible for cleaning our buses inside and out. Mainly we sweep the floors and we can rinse out the inside with soap and water with a hose. The outside of the bus gets washed by a large "bus wash" - a car wash for buses. We are supposed to sweep out the buses at least once a day, but some drivers will make it a weekly thing. Many drivers will ban the kids from eating or drinking on the bus to minimize the accumulation of trash on the bus and to prevent spills from liquids. Its easy to sweep a bus clear of all dirt (which is inevitable with kids on the bus), but it is harder to clean it if it is all sticky and dirty. I don't know how other bus shops run their buses.

What do you do if you suspect a kid is being abused at home?

Asked by Cheri over 5 years ago

Yes there is. Every bus driver, teacher, principal, and other employee in the school system is a Mandated Reporter. That means if we suspect or witness child abuse, we HAVE to report it by law. Each state is different in how to report child abuse, but where I work, if we suspect a child is being abused at home, we notify the supervisor at the bus shop and the school the child attends. It then sets into motion numerous meetings between the principal, counselors, and teachers involved and often will get the child out of the abuse situation. We take abuse cases very seriously and it is sometimes very hard to prove that there is any abuse going on because many people will not abuse the child in front of us. We document everything we notice such as signs of physical abuse or neglect, and various behavior patterns. Often, if a parent is habitually not home when we drop off a young child, we will report it and take the child over to the police station because the child is lacking in supervision at home.

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

Asked by Timmy two times about 5 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.

This is a really interesting thread, learned a ton already by reading it. My question: do you lock and unlock the emergency door from the driver's seat, or could a kid sitting in the back just open it at any time?

Asked by Hank over 4 years ago

The emergency doors in the back of the bus (or on the side of the bus in some models) are simply opened by a red lever in the back of the bus. Any child can do it in the case of an emergency. The door is not locked. The door can be locked, however when securing your bus for the evening after you have completed your route. The newer models of buses have a simple slide latch and the latch communicates with the ignition system of the bus. If the latch is locked, the bus will not start. It ensures that the door always stays unlocked so that students can get out in the case of an emergency.

How do you deal with a bus monitor that seems to be a back seat driver?
It will slowly and then eventually swiftly build until I'm slamming my brakes on in the center of an intersection! How can a driver professionally stop the distraction?

Asked by reason over 4 years ago

That’s a tough question to answer. Ideally if you have a monitor on the bus, the monitor should not be a distraction and you should be able to work side by side with the monitor. Have you tried speaking with the monitor directly? Maybe she/he doesn’t know that what they are doing is bothering you. If you feel you cannot speak to the person directly, ask your boss for a mediation session where he/she can have the both of you in the office and you two can hash out your differences. It may be that the boss may decide to move the monitor to a different bus, and give you a new monitor for yours. Personally, I prefer to drive a bus by myself because its easier to handle all behavior problems because I can be consistent in my discipline methods. If I write a student up for behavior and my monitor doesn’t for the same behavior, it sends mixed messages to the student on how to behave. I hope you find a resolution soon!

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.

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 over 4 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.

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 4 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.

Do you think assigning seats is a good or bad idea?

Asked by jasonsmom over 4 years ago

Personally, I like assigning seats because then each child knows they have a place to sit.  A downside to assigned seats is having random children that do not normally ride the route get on a bus with a pass because they are going home with a friend/cousin/to grandmas.  In my experience as a substitute, the drivers who have assigned seats on their buses tend to have calmer buses overall.  The kids are less likely to act up and the ones that try to are quickly ratted out by other students who enjoy following the rules.  Bus drivers do have the right to assign seats, and if I am on a bus and experiencing problems, I will assign seats to the children the day that I drive.  It can cause problems with parents, but if I know where their kid sits, there is no fighting whether their kid misbehaved because their child sits in the same seat every day.

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 over 4 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 get annoyed when overly-talkative kids sit at the front of the bus, and ask you questions?

Asked by rootinpootin over 4 years ago

Hiyas Rootin!

I don't mind when talkitive children sit closer to the front and ask me questions.  Sometimes, it can get a bit annoying especially when I'm trying to pay attention to driving in stressful situations, but usually a simple, "Please be quiet for a few minutes, kiddo." usually helps and then the kid does not feel like I am ignoring them.  I have many kids ask me if they can open the manual door when we are at a stop.  I usually tell them that I will let them open the door at their stops.  Some of the older students like to sit up front and chat with me and often will tell me things that are annoying them or upsetting them and ask me for advice.

is it against the law to stop bus drivers from using school restrooms

Asked by patricia about 4 years ago

I don't know if it is against the law per-say, however there have been a few times where I have needed to use a restroom.  The ideal location would be on school property where I could run in and out really quickly.  The main concern when a bus driver needs to use the restroom is the supervision of the children on the bus.  In the cases that I needed to use a bathroom, I asked a fellow bus driver or an administrator to watch the bus while I ran inside to the school to use the bathroom.  In all instances, the time spent off the bus was less than 5 minutes, just long enough to relieve myself.

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 4 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.

Is it illegal to do break check while kids are on the school bus in Ga.

Asked by Tracy about 4 years ago

Technically speaking, it is dangerous to brake check any vehicle because it will cause wear and tear on the vehicle.  In addition, brake checking while one has children on board can put them in danger and cause unintended injuries.  Sometimes I will demonstrate to children how fast a bus CAN stop because it helps them remember to stay in their seats, but over all I don't usually perform "brake checks".

On a legal standpoint, it is NOT illegal to do so, just unsafe.

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

Asked by jan about 4 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.  

Do bus driver's have to let kids get on the bus to go to school in the morning even if the kid doesn't ride that bus ?

Asked by Haleigh over 4 years ago

Good question Haleigh!

That is really a question that is only answered depending on the district your school is in.  Typically speaking though, if the bus services the school, then yes, we normally let children ride in the mornings.  We know that sometimes kids end up staying with grandma, or over at a friends house, and usually try to accommodate that situation.  If the bus has to go out of district to deliver you to school, then we do have a right to refuse bus service for that reason.  Often if a bus driver is faced with an unknown face at a bus stop, either the child has a note written by a parent to present to the bus driver, or the bus driver will radio the bus shop to get clearance.  Most of the time we are able to help you out.

i have left my video game on my school bus today when we had a sub bus driver, i have called my schools and spoke to the secretary and was told that the sub had not reported finding it' i was told that there would be a new sub tomorow. what do i do?

Asked by funlunde over 4 years ago

Well first, you did a good thing by calling the secretary of your school.  The thing I would recommend would be calling the bus shop secretary and see if it has been turned in there.  If the bus is the same, then you can look in the seat you were sitting in, and hopefully the game will still be there.  However, a likely outcome is that someone else picked up your video game and has not turned it in.  I'm sad to say that many students are not honest and you have probably lost the game. I hope you are able to recover it and get it back.  Good luck!

I was living near Hampton beach in NH, one day there was construction on a bridge. It took 4 hours to get home on the bus (usually took 30 mins). The driver could have gone an alternative way (I know for a fact she was allowed to), but didn't. Why?

Asked by Axlrose13 about 4 years ago

I can't say for sure the reason why the driver did not detour, however, maybe she was unfamiliar with the area, or perhaps she had been told not to deviate from the route.  Sometimes there is no space for a bus to turn and detour and sometimes the detour areas only accommodate cars, and not buses.

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 4 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.

I have a few newbie driver questions for you - What items do you keep on your bus (kleenex, hand sanitizer etc.)? What do you tell your students at the start of the year to get off on the right foot? What are your best tips? Thanks!

Asked by Mightynice about 4 years ago

This is a good question, and definitely one I will probably co-post on my blog.  Things I recommend for bus drivers to have on hand:

Kleenex - You can never have too many Kleenex.  Kids are always asking for a tissue.

Paper towels - Not to be confused with Kleenex, paper towels are always handy for cleaning up spills and other larger messes such as when rain comes in the leaky roof of a bus.

Hand sanitizer - more for yourself than the kids, but some drivers keep it handy for the kids as well.

Baby wipes - If you prefer baby wipes to hand sanitizer, these can serve double duty as cleansing items for the seats and surrounding areas.

Cleaning supplies - most bus barns will provide cleaning supplies for a driver to maintain general cleanliness of their bus.  This includes windex, lysol, and other antibacterial agents for cleaning the bus.

Puke powder - yes the name sounds awful but it is essential for that child that you will eventually have that vomits everywhere.

Trashcans and trash bags - again self explanatory, but if you promote a clean bus, most of the trash the children will make will find its way into the can.

Broom - A strong and sturdy broom to reach those hard to get areas, brooms also aid in killing random bugs and other pests that find their way into your bus.

Log book/folder - Your bus barn is going to ask you to handle paperwork, it is handy to have a folder to use to keep all paperwork in.  It also helps to keep a current copy of your CPR certification on hand.

Bus roster - This is majorly important if you are in an accident or if a child needs to contact their parents for whatever reason.  You need to know who is on your bus at any given time.  This goes for bus passes too - I usually keep those for about 2 weeks, then toss them.  Things in a bus roster should include the following:  Name of the student, Grade/School, Address, Emergency and Parent numbers, and any allergies or special conditions one should be aware about.  Your bus barn should provide a form for children and parents to fill out and return to you.

Route description - make sure a route description is handy on your bus for those inevitable days that you are going to be sick.  A route description is a lifesaver for sub drivers who do not know your kids.  Also, make sure a roster is attached to each route description so that the sub driver can have it available immediately in the case of an emergency.

Bus seating chart - It may be a good idea for you to assign your passengers seats.  The seat assignments are also helpful for identifying problem passengers. 

Clearly posted rules - these can help students realize what rules they are supposed to follow on the bus.  I recommend going over the rules with each group of kids that enter your bus.

Citation/write-up folder - make sure you have a folder full of blank citation/write-up sheets.  Explain to students that if they do not follow the rules they are going to get a verbal warning from you, you will talk to their parents, and then if they persist, you will write them up and turn them into the school.  Explain that there are consequences for receiving a write-up such as a change in assigned seat to one of the front seats (or a least desireable location).  I know of one bus driver that had all of her children sitting up front and left the back of the bus as no-mans-land.  There were at least 6 seats between the last group of students and the very back of the bus.  A misbehaving child was sent to sit in the last seat by himself, which wasn't viewed as a reward as there was noone around him to help him disobey.

Offer little treats and incentives - Maybe you could develop a positive behavior system on your bus.  Some bus drivers use gum as an incentive, or lollypops.  If the children behave (for the most part) all week, they get a treat on Fridays.  You may want to have them work towards a pizza party or an icecream treat.  When I drove for an after school program, I brought things like cupcakes, and on the last day of after school, I brought ice pops since it was so hot out.  The kids will appreciate these little treats.

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 4 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.

can you drive a bus with students on bus with the door open?

Asked by kAREN about 4 years ago

No, that is illegal to do.  I will air out my bus without students on it by utilizing the door, but I will never open the door while the bus is moving and in gear with students on it.

as i understand it, driving a school bus from apr. 6-9 am and 2-5 pm is the typical hours of the job. starting out, making about $11,000 a year. what kind of "side job" can you get that fits between the am and pm shifts running the bus? need ideas.

Asked by wespoe23 about 4 years ago

Well obviously, we don't do this job for the money by any means! Most people drive the bus to get the insurance.  In my district we usually drive from 5 am to 8 am and then from 2:30 pm to 5 pm.  Unfortunately not a lot of workplaces care to hire someone from 8-2 ish.  I marketed myself for weekends as well, and it was hard to find a second job.  Ideally a job working at a doctor office or lawyers office part time between bus routes would be perfect for someone to go to, if the  employers would work with the bus needs.  I make extra money by volunteering to take field trips.  I also got a job as a transit bus driver for nights and weekends which allowed me to expand my client base from just children.  Good luck!

Why would a school bus driver need to know if the child goes home on the bus or is picked up?
Is he casing my home or my kid?

he seemed to put that on a card is that to be expected?
I didn't think much of it till i got back to the house.

Asked by Steven about 4 years ago

We need to have rosters on our bus.  If we are ever in an accident or the police come on our bus, we have to be able to give them an accurate roster of who is on the bus at any given time.  Obviously, the system isn't perfect because there are several children on a bus at any given time, but its important for us to have your childs name, address, phone numbers of both parents, emergency phone numbers, and any allergies or medical conditions such as Asthma or ADHD that we need to be aware of.

I promise you, we are not casing your house or your child, but it helps the school keep track of which kids are supposed to ride buses home or getting picked up.  Some kids also only ride the bus in the mornings or in the afternoons.  It helps us keep track of how many kids are on the bus.

I'm a SPED bus driver in VA and I'm concerned because my school division often pulls my bus monitor when they are short handed. What can I do about it, they said this is a courtsey to me not a requirement.

Asked by lizzy1125 about 4 years ago

Being shorthanded is a tough subject as many bus shops everywhere are short drivers.  Typically though whether or not SPED buses have monitors on them is based by state.  I would research the laws in Virginia and see if not having a monitor is illegal on your bus.  If it is, then I would make efforts to report the activity to the appropriate authorities.  If SPED buses are not required to have monitors on them, then my suggestion is to do the best you can with the resources you have.

how do you close the doors when your shift is over?

Asked by anonymous over 3 years ago

If we are driving an older model bus with manually operated doors (the handle has to be lifted and pushed out in order for us to open the door for passengers), we simply shut the door from the outside taking care not to push it too hard to latch.  If it latches, fear not, we climb in the back door (which is usually unlocked) and let ourselves into the bus that way.  For newer models of buses that have air operated doors, there is a switch that is located above the door labled "emergency release."  We flip this switch (on the inside) into the open position and it releases all the air holding the doors closed.  We can then push the doors open and then shut them after we get off the bus.

Some drivers have to be careful because their buses will have air leaks which makes it easy to exit the bus for a period of time - opening the door by the air switch, but then when the driver returns, starts the bus, and flips the switch, the air pressure takes time to rebuild.  Those drivers will often find themselves summarily accidentally "locked" out when the doors regain pressure and close on the drivers if they are outside the bus when this occurs.  In some fleets, the doors are operated by a key accessed panel outside the door which allows the driver to open and close the door from the outside of the bus using key access.

Can a bus driver separate the kids on a bus according to gender? Don't say that there must have been a reason because we did nothing. The front half is boys and the back half is girls. I think its not right because she makes the boys sit in 3's.

Asked by Salvador about 4 years ago

Yes, many bus drivers choose to separate children by gender, sometimes they put boys on one side and girls on the other, and others will put one gender in the back and the other in the front.  The fact that the boys are 3 to a seat is an unfortunate circumstance of your gender on that bus.  There is one bus in my district who has twice as many girls as boys, and the bus is separated by gender, so the girls have to sit three to a seat while the boys have alot more space on their side.  Could the bus driver even it out a little bit by allowing students to sit in certain seats or reassigning certain areas of the bus - yes, but sometimes its just not practical, or other schools fill in the empty areas.  If any girls are sitting only one to a seat then I could see where you have an issue, but if the driver is making an effort to try to divide it somewhat evenly to give everyone a place to sit, then you don't have much of a choice.

how do iget something out that fell inside the dashborad

Asked by terry about 4 years ago

That would be a question for an auto mechanic.  Unfortunately I am a bus driver, but there happens to be an auto mechanic on jobstr.  Hope you get an answer.

What should I do when the bus driver sits on kids as a punishment?

Asked by momof3 almost 4 years ago

First off, a bus driver should not be laying hands or any part of body on a child unless it is necessary for intervention. For example, I had two 2nd thru 4th grade girls decide to get into it on the bus and both decided to swing punches.  I stepped in the middle and separated both girls, took one gently by the wrist and moved her from the other girl and had a lady who was riding on the bus with me sit WITH the second girl in the same seat (with the girl near the window) until we got to the girls stop.

If in fact, this bus driver is displaying questionable behavior, you can request that the bus company pull the tape to address the problem.  The bus company can view the tape and subsequently discipline the driver should there be an issue.  That being said, it may be possible that the bus driver is assigning seats for each kid and it could be perhaps that your child does not like the new rule change.  I've never heard of a driver that sits ON a child.  Hope this helps.

what happens if you get written up on a school bus

Asked by T-dog almost 4 years ago

Hi T-Dog,

There are various reasons why kids get written up on the school bus, and what happens to them depends on what they did.  For a student who disrespected the bus driver, the consequence might be a warning the first time, then subsequent suspensions ranging anywhere from 1-10 days depending on the number of other write-ups the student has received.  But, for a student who may have been physically fighting on the bus, the school may opt to jump over the "warning" stage and simply go right to suspension.

In my district, the general progression of write-ups is warning, 1-3 days off, 3-5 days off, 5-7 days off, 10 days off, then permanently off for the rest of the semester/year.

Our school district reduced bus drivers time by 50% going from a duel tier to single tier system. They increased the number of drivers and buses and they did not want to pay health insurance. Do you see this backfiring eventually?

Asked by lucy1 almost 4 years ago

I had to look up what dual tier vs. single tier is first.  If I understand it correctly, dual tier is when school bus routes are split by grade level, for example: 1 elementary run, 1 middle school run, and 1 high school run.  There are advantages and disadvantages to both systems.  I grew up in a multi-tier system whereas when I moved and became a bus driver myself, it is now single tier.  I suppose the district is trying to save money and time by consolidating all the dual routes into single routes.  As for them not wanting to pay insurance for their employees, that is a different beast all together.  I don't see the change from dual to single backfiring, but I do see a lot of backlash over the health insurance issue, especially if you live in a state like mine which does not offer expanded medicaid under the new "Obamacare" health fiasco.  Lots of businesses are looking for ways to cut corners thanks to the aforementioned three ring circus in DC.

My kids' bus driver drops them off at an intersection that is about 200 yards from our driveway to keep from having to come further down our road. We live on a dirt road so there is no sidewalk. Can she drop them off on a road with no sidewalk?

Asked by blainewarren1 over 3 years ago

First off - is the dirt road a dead end road?  Secondly - is the dirt road a road that gets a significant amount of traffic?  I ask these questions because dirt roads can vary.  If there is not alot of traffic going down your particular dirt road, then a sidewalk is not really needed or necessary.  It won't kill kids to walk a little bit.  (For my readers, 200 yards is about 2 football fields long.)  Unless your child is in 1st grade or younger, then there is really no reason why they couldn't walk a little bit.  Chances are good the only folks who will be coming down your dirt road will be neighbors who live nearby and you likely let them walk over to the neighbors house.  Additionally, if the road is a dead end (as many dirt roads are), there may not be a place for a school bus to turn around.  If you are still concerned, you can always meet the bus in your vehicle in order to collect your children.

what should I do if a high schooler told me that I will get beat up on the bus

Asked by student almost 4 years ago

Hello - I deleted your duplicate question in favor of answering here.  If you have been  threatened, or feel that you have been threatened by someone, go directly to the bus driver, teacher, administrator, parent, anyone who will listen to keep you safe.  On my bus, bullying is not tolerated and it will be handled.  If you don't get someone to listen, keep telling them until something is done.

Can a bus drivre enter your home when your not home

Asked by stressed mother almost 4 years ago

Sometimes situations happen when a parent is not home to receive their child.  We typically instruct the child to knock on the door to try to find out if someone is home.  If the child cannot get someone to the door, I will usually send an older student to try to knock harder on the door because little fists don't knock very loudly.  Failing that, we will radio in to the bus yard in order to try to get a parent on the phone while we finish the route, drop all other students off and then radio back to the bus yard for advice on how to proceed.  If the student's parents are still not home, I will walk to the front door and knock, but I will not open it or enter a stranger's home.  In cases where the parents are constantly absent from the bus stop, we will actually take the children up to the police station because of the lack of parental supervision for the child.

soooo got a little question for you braaa init mate. btw i luv ur bus init fam cos its welard ting. just wonderin how much ur insurance costs intit m8.

Asked by w.dog almost 4 years ago

"w. dog" - First I am not sure what you're asking because I actually read english and write in english.  Second, please feel free to resubmit your question using proper english sentences.

I am in the final stages of testing for my school bus license. I am having a problem backing up into a lane. Any suggestions? I am a good driver but this part is difficult for me. Which mirrors should I use? Thanks

Asked by Sas almost 4 years ago

First, congratulations! Secondly, best advice I can give is practice.  Find an empty parking-lot and see if you can borrow an empty bus to practice pulling between the lines.  Play around with the bus a little bit to see how it handles and see how the back wheels turn in conjunction with the front ones.  When making any frontward right or left hand turn, you typically swing a bit wide (wider for right hand turns in general) due to the tail swing and rear wheels of the bus and to avoid the curb.  When backing into a lane watch your rear wheels through your side rear view mirrors.  If you are backing on the right, use the mirrors closest to the student door.  If to the left, use the mirrors just outside your drivers side window.  One of the mirrors should be trained on the "blindspot" by the rear wheels.  Identify the wheels in the mirror and pretend that the wheel is on a dime at the edge of the corner.  You want to make the wheel stay still while backing left or right.  Think about how you back your car into a parking space and apply the same principle.  As you are backing, keep an eye on your front nose so that it does not hit anything.  A good judge of the front nose would be the cross mirrors in the front of the bus.  

Finally, get a trusted friend to help you identify the dimensions of your bus by standing at the rear bumper as you sit in the drivers seat.  Have them stand at all 4 corners of the bus and at the center in back and center in front as you check your mirrors.  Also have them stand at the rear wheels so you can identify them visually.  This will help you visualize your bus all around.  Good luck!

Why do school buses have those blindingly bright lights flashing on the roof?

Asked by Anonymous over 3 years ago

The bright flashing lights are known as strobe lights and they are on the roof of the bus for visibility reasons.  Just like a garbage truck or a street cleaner or a snow plow will have flashing lights on it, a school bus is something that requires lots of visibility due to the precious cargo we transport every day.  Our student lights will flash amber/yellow and red and our stop signs will come out and flash.  Some newer models have included strobe lights in the stop sign to increase visibility to distracted drivers.  If the light is low level or there is heavy fog, snow, or rain, the strobe light allows drivers to spot our vehicles from several feet and allow other drivers to take necessary precautions when driving in those conditions.

why do school bus drivers always wave at each other?

Asked by ANON over 3 years ago

General friendliness.  We are a special breed and we will often wave at each other just acknowledging each other.  No other reason than we just are friendly.

I'm school bus driver we would like permission to use your bus driver image to the left. We are printing some sweatshirts for the drivers. Looking forward to your response soon thanks Denise

Asked by Denise almost 4 years ago

Denise - I simply did a google search, and that was one of the images I found.  So, I simply used it for this profile.  Therefore since it is public property, it is not mine to give away, but since it is very common to find in general, I don't think you'll run into copyright laws. Can I get a sweatshirt? ;)

Thanks for responding to my request .Out of all the images of School Bus Driver my boss likes the one you are using. I have to have it redrawn Be more than happy to T's or sweat shirts with this School Bus Driver logo.Email your information thanks

Asked by Denise almost 4 years ago

Awesome - You can email me at busdriverquestions@gmail.com :)

how do you make a right turn onto a two way street, and there is a car on the left hand side at the traffic light?

Asked by bass over 3 years ago

Very carefully.  Most intersections are wide enough for us to make a turn the way we need to, sometimes though, we may have to wait until the light cycles and the intersection clears.  More often than not, if it is safe enough and we do not have the turning radius needed, we will jump the curb in order to keep hitting other vehicles.

(Follow up) They basic say he's stupid and make fun of his english which isn't perfect. But like I said, they sometimes say thank you to him when they get off the bus. They are fairly polite but can be pretty mean too. They can be nice and mean.

Asked by John over 3 years ago

Sadly, students in general tend to have a nice side and a mean side.  Its part of human nature for some people.  The thing is that some people need to be told that their mean side is not something that should be tolerated or encouraged.  If you feel strongly about this, stand up for yourself and the bus driver.  Maybe hearing from a peer that their words/actions are mean might get them to think twice.

I got up to ask the bus driver a question and knew I shouldn't of been up but I got up anyways and I got half way and he hit the breaks and I flew 6 feet. Is it legal to break check students like that

Asked by Denver Bell over 3 years ago

You said it yourself.  You should not have been standing up in the first place.  Did your bus driver warn you about standing up while the bus was moving?  You also assume it was a brake check, but maybe he really did see an obstacle in the road that would have required quick decisive action.  As for the legality of it, technically no.  If the driver can be proved to have illegally "brake checked" the bus in order to get a student to sit down, then there can be trouble.  That being said:

SIT DOWN!

As for your question - could it have waited until you got off at your stop?  Could it have waited until the bus driver was NOT driving, but instead sitting at your school?  Ask yourself these questions.

I read that you try to put a stop to bullying when you see it. But if not even teachers in a classroom can prevent certain forms of bullying, how can bus drivers be expected to deal with it when they have to drive a bus full of kids?

Asked by John over 3 years ago

We try our best to stop bullying period.  Sometimes even all we do cannot prevent bullying completely.  Some kids just end up being victims of these circumstances.  Some of the ways we can help stop bullying or at least preventing the situation on the bus would be moving the bullies to areas of the bus where the camera can pick up their actions and voices should the behavior be both physical and verbal.  Secondly, we remove the victim from the vicintity of the bully.  For example, I would have the bully sit in seat 2 or 3 where I can hear them, and have the victim sit in seat 11 or 12, far enough away from the bully.

What should I do if I see kids insulting my bus driver? The driver doesn't get upset by it because I don't think he hears most of it, but they make jokes about him to each other frequently. But the same kids also say thanks to him when they leave....

Asked by John over 3 years ago

I would report it to the bus driver himself.  He may want to be aware of what these students are saying to at least watch out for other students on the bus.  If you are uncomfortable with that, then you could report it to a school administrator who could bring it to the bus driver's attention.

Is there a period of time between morning routes and afternoon routes when you don't have anything to do?

Asked by John over 3 years ago

All the time in my case.  Some bus yards require bus drivers to be there a full day, but in my case, we work from 5:30 am to 8 am and then again from 2:30 pm to 5 pm ish.  Obviously the times vary for each bus driver depending on their route, location, and number of children.

I'm doing a speech over bus safety, and I need to know the correct term for the button or switch that a student can pull up to stop the bus incase of an accident or an emergency?

Asked by kay over 3 years ago

Buses are equipped with an emergency or parking brake, but it can be very dangerous to pull this brake while the bus is moving as it will cause the bus to jerk to a stop and can cause an accident if used improperly.  In the case of an emergency and the bus is simply rolling low speed (under 5 mph) then the emergency brake button can be pulled in order to stop the bus.  It looks like this: http://www.apartswarehouse.com/Images/Products/298818-s.JPG 

In the case where the driver becomes incapacitated at any time while the bus is moving at speeds greater than 5 mph, you can instruct students to put the gear shift in neutral which will stop the motor from propelling the wheels.  Then instruct the student to keep a steady hand on the steering wheel guiding it to the side of the road.  Once the bus has rolled to a stop or has dropped below 5 mph, then the student can pull the parking brake to stop the bus completely.  I would not advise a student to cut off the bus engine using the keys until the bus has come to a near complete stop as the power going to the steering wheel will stop if the student cuts off the power too soon.  That can make the bus hard to maneuver in an emergency.

Most bus companies have CB radios to use in the case of an emergency.  Instruct students on how to access the radio and how to call for help in an emergency.

What do you do if you write a kids name down?

Asked by AA over 3 years ago

Depends on the reason for writing the name down.  Sometimes I may ask a child for their name and write it down as a note to myself to let the office know I have them still on the bus if they missed their stop.  Sometimes, it may be that we need their name to look up their address in the computer system, or find a working parent/guardian number to contact.  Finally, I may write a child's name down in order to write them up for misbehavior.  Not everything leads to misbehavior and a citation, but for other reasons.  

When I had an after school route - I had my students names on one sheet as well as their stops listed, in order of drop off.  When they got on the bus, I would ask their name (if I hadn't already learned it) and would check off that they were on the bus.  It helped me keep track of the number of students who rode and which way I needed to drive in order to drop them off efficiently and quickly.

I'm a senior in high school and I used to ride the bus and every time I did the bus would be hot even when it's 77 degrees and and higher. now my question is why is the heat always on when they don't need it

Asked by Alec over 3 years ago

Hi Alec!

First off - if you notice that the heater in the back is blowing, please let the bus driver know.  Their arm may have inadvertently hit the button on the control panel which controls the heat blower.  Secondly, most of the time if a driver gets too hot they turn the heat off under the hood or up in the drivers compartment by flipping a lever to stop the heat flow.  Third, when you put 40-60 bodies in a small area, its going to be a little hot and uncomfortable.  If the driver has air conditioning, they will put it on, but if there is no air conditioning, simply open a few windows  on each side all the way down both sides of the bus and there will be a cross breeze that comes through which will cool off some of the interior of the bus.

There may be other reasons why the heat is needed on certain days, but most of that is due to the defrosting of the windshields and visibility.  Bottom line is - if you're hot, let the bus driver know so they can adjust accordingly.  If they don't, then simply relocate your seat away from the seats where the heaters are.

how do i convince my friends bus driver to let me ride their bus.

Asked by CT over 3 years ago

Get a bus pass from the office.  You need to bring a signed note from your parent or guardian to the office and they will issue you a bus pass (usually only good for one day).  Trying to skip around on buses is not advised and in some districts can get you removed from riding the bus.

if you miss your bus can you ride a late bus if you have no ride home or if you have to stay after school for a teacher can they call a late bus for the student.

Asked by CT over 3 years ago

That would depend on your school district if they run late buses.  When I was in high school, we had 2 late buses that would serve the north and south side of town.  The idea was to get the riders of the late bus within reasonable walking distance of home (Sometimes up to 2 miles)  My late bus stop was about 3/4 of a mile from my house and a half mile from my regular stop.  I would suggest calling your local bus company and asking them if they have a late bus.

If the bus is your only means of transportation, then I would recommend going to the teacher and explaining your situation respectfully.  They may be able to work something else out for you (lunch tutoring or lunch detention) in order to accommodate you.  Good luck!

If you lose something on the bus where would you go to find it. And what if another child has found it ?

Asked by Nicole about 3 years ago

You can ask the driver if they saw the object in question, if they have, they likely turned it into the bus shop or schools, in which case your parents would need to call up to claim it on your behalf.  If its money, its likely gone.  Unfortunately other students are not so honest.  

what do i need to do to become a bus monitor

Asked by spicy over 3 years ago

Depending on your district will depend on the procedure for applying for a job.  In my district, applicants submit their applications to the local board of education.  The process begins there.  I suggest you go to your local board of education.  They will be able to give you the necessary direction in which to go to apply to be a bus driver or monitor.

Is a male, 35 yr old bus driver allowed to have a beer and drive a few hours after? Would the police make him do a breathalyzer test? What might his BAC be?

Asked by Leah about 3 years ago

First, I'd be questioning his judgement for having alcohol knowing full well he is going to drive childen later.  As far as the police are concerned, if the police have reason to believe he is under the influence or a parent has called it in reporting him to be under the influence, they can subject him to a random drug screen and a breathalyzer.  I'm not sure about the BAC level as I am not a police officer nor do I drink.

Second, my policy is to avoid alcohol in any situation where I might need to be in full control of myself  especially when driving children.  I would not knowingly put my children at risk.  If this individual is consuming alcohol and then driving children, he is essentially playing with fire because while with some professions alcohol may be accepted, when driving a school bus, it is likely not accepted.

have power wash business washing buses a company contacted me and wanted a price per bus to have 160 buses interior detailed over summer do have any inside info what they pay for service thanks email kssmithspw90@aol.com

Asked by tim from pa. over 3 years ago

No idea honestly, though a few of my friends offer bus cleaning services, inside and outside and charge approximately 50 dollars per bus.  They aren't a professional cleaning service and are just looking to make a little money on the side.  Personally, I pay for them to clean my bus because it is worth the 50 dollars to me.  Theres alot of nooks and crannies on a bus that need to be cleaned as well as with newer buses, the holes in the ceiling can't get wet, so its easier to pay someone to do it.

Hello. Are School Bus Drivers allowed to take their bus home after work To save on fuel? How does that work.

-NC

Asked by Nathan Bishop almost 3 years ago

It depends on your individual district.  Some districts forbid taking a bus to a personal residence and others allow for the drivers to take their buses home.  In my experience, the bus drivers are allowed to take their buses home, but if their buses are needed for inspection or whatever, then we have to find a ride home, or take a spare home until we get our regular buses back.

Personally, I don't take my bus home because I simply have no place to park the vehicle.  Of course, the stipulations are that if they give you the privilege of taking the bus home, that you will not abuse that privilege and make sure that you do not use the bus for personal reasons like grocery shopping etc.  Additionally, you agree to keep it safe from vandals, and to ensure that just like your regular car that you make sure you secure it.

Even though I don't take my bus home, I would need to clear it occasionally with my supervisor for me to take my bus to my second job since it usually started right after my bus driving job. After I got off for a break, I would run the bus back to the shop, secure the gate, and get my own personal vehicle. 

my bus works fine with engine off and operating lift why not error on the side of safety?

Asked by luckyrose over 3 years ago

In that case, then I would turn the bus off.  I was just stating that some buses require the bus to be started and running or the key to be turned in the on position to allow power to flow to the lift.  Some lifts will not operate without the parking brake being engaged either on some of the smaller "transit" type buses.  I would double check your company policy on this issue though.

how do you back a bus up in between 2 parked busses at a compound

Asked by helen over 3 years ago

Its a matter of using the mirrors to line your bus up with the other two buses.  Keeping it in line with the other two buses, back up slowly until your bus nose is in line with the other busses.  It is fairly simple to do once you get a handle on how your bus turns and backs.  If you are unsure, I recommend going to a parking lot with white lines painted on the pavement.  Attempt to back your bus keeping it centered betweeen the two lines.  Once you can do that without running over the lines, backing your bus is a cinch.

Can a bus tip over? I have a severe fear of buses, and it's only getting worse with age.

Asked by Andrea over 3 years ago

Andrea - Unfortunately, yes, a bus can tip over, but most accidents where the buses have tipped over are due to driver overcorrection, or outside force on the bus making it flip on its side.  Generally speaking though, buses are safe to ride in and if you have a problem, please feel free to address it with the driver of the bus.  The driver can reassure you and give you fair warning if he is going to do something unexpected like back the bus up or turn it around in a tight area.

What does the button do on the back of the bus ?

Asked by Jefferson almost 3 years ago

The button on the back wall of the bus is part of the child check safety system. Essentially whenever a bus driver returns to the bus yard or his/her home after a run where he/she has picked up students, they are supposed to do a walk through of the bus in order to ensure all students are off the bus. Newer buses require us to press the button at the back of the bus in order to stop or prevent an alarm from sounding (usually a beeping noise or the sound of the bus horn) before opening the door and exiting the bus. Failure to press the button and exiting the bus is much like breaking into a car with a car alarm. The alarm sounds and the driver is forced to walk to the back of the bus to shut it off.

I began driving a school bus just a month ago. Today was 87 degrees so I opened all my windows so the children would not bake.
Another driver warned that police will write a ticket if the windows are down past the black half-way line. Is this true?

Asked by jeff over 3 years ago

I am not sure if there are particular state or county laws where you live that govern the height of a window on a bus that is down.  I suggest you check with your CDL trainer and boss at your bus shop yard.  They can better advise you.  My personal policy is to let the children let down the windows if they are hot.  If the windows are not down, it is the children's personal choice not to let the windows down.  If I have little ones, I have an older child help put those windows down in order to make the little ones more comfortable.

Why dont bus drivers have a door on their side ?

Asked by Rolando Mota almost 3 years ago

I'm not really sure exactly. I know on smaller buses (20 passenger) the driver has a door on both theirs and passengers sides because of the design of the bus. For larger buses, its only feasible to have a door on one side for all entering and exiting the bus. Interesting fun fact, that in any accident, the drivers side window and both front windows (as well as most any other window in the bus) can be kicked out to aid in evacuation procedures if such procedures are warranted)* * I don't advise you getting on a random bus and kicking out the windows without a warranted cause. That may get you arrested and charged with vandalism. Plus the other folks look at you like you are crazy.

can you be a monitor and work your way up to be a bus driver? thanks

Asked by Britt over 3 years ago

There are many ways of starting out in a bus company and being a monitor is a good way to decide if you like the job before you decide to go to the training to become a bus driver.  Since becoming a bus driver requires a CDL-B license, many bus companies offer training and assistance with getting the license, though much of the responsibility falls on you as the trainee.  In this way, just being a monitor for several years does not qualify you to "move up" to be a bus driver as the requirements for the position vary.  However, if you want to start as a monitor and get your CDL license, then I am sure any bus shop would love to have you on as an employee.

I was taught never to leave bus engine running get out of bus with bus in reverse gear and check back up lights but my new boss is demanding I do so with only parking brake set on short bus. This seems like a safety hazard to me. I thought this was

Asked by lucky over 3 years ago

That is true, you shouldnt put the bus in reverse and get out and walk behind.  If you have an aide, have them walk behind the bus while you control the bus in order to test the back up lights.  If you're alone, then I would either ask one of my co-workers to check or get a pvc pipe so that you can wedge it between the seat and brake pedal (with the parking brake set of course) and instead of getting out of the bus you can simply walk down the aisle inside the bus and peek out the back door to see if the lights seem to be functioning properly.    I would not do what your boss is suggesting as that puts yours and others safety at risk.

I asked you a question about leaving bus running in reverse or with a full bus of children and you said use aide or helper I have nobody to help. I am alone help comes later I walk kids in to school alone. I thought this was a wac or state law.

Asked by luckyrose over 3 years ago

In my district, special needs buses have to have two people on board, the driver and the aide.  I was speaking only from personal experience.  I've also had other bus drivers help me and I help them as well on checking the reverse and rear lights.  Here in my district, we do not get off our buses to walk students into school.  The only time we are to be off our buses with students on board is to operate the lift.  Thats why special needs buses will have an aide and a driver on board in order to help manage the situation.

Is it illegal for a school bus driver to drop a child off 5 blocks from home in the winter in Canada ? She is only 5 years old.. Also 10 weeks ago another child who lives next door to me was hit by a truck in Medicine Hat alberta she is also 5 year

Asked by Jeremy foxx almost 3 years ago

First off, the child is 5 years old and has been walking 5 blocks all this time and you didn't think to question it until now in the middle of winter? Secondly routes are usually set by the individual bus company. As far as legality, our state suggestion is that students bus stops can be anywhere from a quarter to a full mile length from their homes or closer if necessary. Sometimes though adjustments to the routes must be made to accommodate road closures.

Whats the fastest and easiest way to assign seats on high school only route? School just started, lots of high school students and its hot so I dont want to have them sitting inside the bus for long. Its too hot.

Asked by Edwin(texas) about 3 years ago

Let them choose their seats, if there is a problem with them, then assign specific ones seats closer to the front where you can manage them.  You'll find that several of the kids will sit with the same people every day and that they will usually have a preferred area of the bus.  I have elementary, middle, and highschool on my bus so I separate the bus by sections.  It gives the kids autonomy of choice when deciding where to sit.  Alternately you could ask them to decide amongst themselves where they are going to sit, or at the very least whom they would like to sit near/next to.  In that case, I would hand out index cards and then once names are written on each card, hand one student tape to put the name cards above the seats.  At any rate, highschoolers like the autonomy of choice, so unless they give you a reason to assign them a seat, let them sort it out.

Parent does not like me -
wants to watch two weeks
of my bus driver activity

Asked by JUDYF about 3 years ago

As long as you are following procedures your boss should back you up.  We've had parents threaten to get us fired, but in the end they look like the idiots because we are following all procedures and policies in regards to bus and student behavior.  I wouldn't worry too much unless you are doing something that is in clear violation of the rules.

Do you think that bus drivers should let the little kids go under the seat? My driver does and its stupid.

Asked by Amanda about 3 years ago

All of my kids know to sit properly in their seats.  If one decides to go under the seat they get a front seat for a period of time until they learn that they must sit down properly.  If your driver is allowing it, you should report it to the principal of your school or the transportation department for the safety of the other students on the bus.

does school bus drivers have to do a dot physical?

Asked by britt wise about 3 years ago

Yes.  In my district we have to pass a yearly physical by a DOT certified doctor.  They aren't anything too bad, mostly just a general physical and then questions about history and medications.  The DOT is cracking down on people with CDL licenses (both Class A and B) and are requiring some drivers to go through additional testing.  This may be anything from an extra eye exam if you wear glasses to a sleep study to rule out sleep apnea.  

I have bipolar and I want to drive a school bus how would that work in Georgia chatham county?

Asked by britt over 3 years ago

Usually a simple note from your doctor clearing you to drive and handle a bus full of kids is sufficient enough to pass the bus driver physical.  New state and federal laws require some drivers to provide a list of their medications at the bus driver physical.  Chatham county in Georgia uses First Student - so you may want to look into that company.  Good luck!

My 11 year old daughter came home from school yesterday and said that the bus driver told them that MI law states that if children get picked up first they are to be dropped off first as well. Is this true?

Asked by Deborah almost 3 years ago

As far as I know there is no law that requires that to happen, however, each district has its own policies on how routes are set up and run.  Sometimes the bus shop dictates how a route goes and other times it is up to the drivers discretion.  Personally, I believe that every few years routes need to be revamped and revised and it is best left up to the bus drivers who are driving the routes.  The drivers know the number of students that are at each stop and can better determine if a route has a more logical way of being done.  

Here in my county, due to some of the distance, the first ones on are often the last ones off as the afternoon route is run backwards from the morning route.  For my own route, prior to going to a double run, I ran my route one way and the afternoon route was identical to the morning route.  Now, since I have 78 kids listed on my roster and only a 72 passenger bus, mornings have stayed the same as I have less kids in the morning than in the afternoon, but my afternoon run has been split 2 ways.  I still get done at the same time every day, but some of my kids who had been getting home at about 3:45 are now only getting home at 4 pm, and those of my kids who were getting off at 4:10 pm are now getting off at 3:40 pm because of the logistical change.

How can I ask my bus driver out on a date with me? He's my Uni's shuttle bus driver. I know he knows I exist because I am a regular passenger. Is it acceptable to ask, despite him being the uni bus driver and I am the student?

Asked by L.Saes about 3 years ago

This is kind of a slippery slope for bus drivers.  It is probably best to maintain the professionalism and not get personal.  Thats not to say if you see him out and about in a place other than the bus, that you can't strike up a conversation with him, but in my opinion best to keep those conversations for interactions outside his professional job.

when using a wheel chair lift with a full bus of kids do you leave engine running while getting off bus?

Asked by lucky over 3 years ago

In order for the lift to operate, there has to be some power to the bus.  I do not know if the bus just needs to be in the "on" position or fully running for the lift to work, but usually since on special needs buses there is more than one person on the bus (driver and aide) it is usually safe to leave the bus running while picking up and dropping off a student since there are several adults around to handle situations.

My mother in law is a bus driver for the same company for 30 years and she used to take her bus home for the school year, now the bus company is saying because of home land security they aren't allowing them anymore...is this true.

Asked by Darnell about 3 years ago

Not sure about homeland security, but often bus companies will forbid drivers to take their buses home as a measure of protection for the vehicles.  If there was vandalism in the last few years or issues regarding misuse of buses such as people using them for personal errands wasting the fuel paid for by the city/county, then the bus company has a right to protect their investment.  Buses are not cheap!   Most drivers do take their buses home because it saves on fuel expense if they live on the route directly.

Do old school busses in the school bus depots have their cameras rolling all day year round ?

Asked by Shane about 3 years ago

A school buses camera is usually only active when the bus is switched in the "on" position.  The only exception to this is when a bus is switched off after a period of time.  Our camera systems are designed to run for about 10-15 minutes after the bus is officially "off." This is so that it can be shown that we do our walk throughs to check the bus for any sleeping child and also prevents a bus driver from turning off the bus just to yell or swear at children off camera.  If they have to wait 15 minutes the boss man knows something is up.  As for any other security cameras that may be around the bus depots, I'm not sure, but some depots do have security cameras on the building and in the parking lot to ensure protection.

How likely is it that a school bus driver could have a minor accident and not realize it? Some particulars...engine noise, noisy kids and a chaotic intersection.

Asked by Longtime driver almost 3 years ago

It is probable, but most drivers know the dimensions of their buses really well.  Occasionally some have clipped stop signs or other road signs, and still a few have inadvertently backed into trees, but because it was at such a low speed there was not a definite "impact" other than a scraping sound down the side of the bus.  There have been times where I have backed into fences or run over fences and not realized it until daylight.  We had a driver who hit a couple mailboxes the other day, but the wood around the mailboxes was so rotten that any good gust of wind probably would have blown it over.  We're human and make mistakes.  The important thing is not to dwell on these mistakes and just move on.

How do i get a bus driver to stop in front of my property which is a designated bus stop. He just refuses to drive down a few 100 yards cause its easier to back up and turn around if he doesnt?

Asked by Angryinarkansas about 3 years ago

"My sons bus driver says to be waiting on him in someone elses driveway a 8th of a mile up the road. No other kids get on when my son does. Waiting means stand there for possibly 30mins cause this bus doesnt come at a regular time."

I copied the second part of your question here so that I can address both at the same time

First, if your house is a designated stop, my first suggestion would be to go to the bus shop supervisor and find out why he has not been stopping at the stop.  There may not be an easy place to turn around down by where you live.  Sometimes there are safety reasons why we don't go down certain roads.  If the bus has no consistent time, this is something that should be reported to the bus shop as well.  I try to be on the same schedule within a 5 minute time frame so as not to worry my students or parents.  Third, I don't know the age of your child, but it is likely that if the child is in middle or highschool, it is easier to get the child to walk a couple hundred yards to where there is a safe place for the bus to turn around.  On one of my roads, there is literally no place to turn around at the end of the road.  I could go down it and back into someone's driveway, but I don't want to do that unless it is absolutely necessary or pouring down rain.

Keep in mind there are laws when handling back ups on a 40 foot school bus.  The bus isnt exactly the most maneuverable vehicle too.  Hope this helps.

 

My 5 year old son and nephew both on the same bus claim they were pushed into their seat. I have asked for the bus driver to be changed to another route but it fell of def ears, What can I do? My nephew does not want to get on the bus anymore.

Asked by margaritaq about 3 years ago

First, you need to establish who was pushing your son and nephew.  If it was the bus driver, ask the school and bus shop to pull the video tape.  Most buses have video recording systems now in order to prevent situations like this.  If it is shown on the tape then you have the right to request disciplinary action.  If the action done is not suitable or the problem re-occurs, then you have the right to take it to the superintendents office.  However keep in mind that you're only hearing one side to the story.  The tape tells the whole story and will either clear the driver or make it clear the driver is in trouble.

Hello. After school can bus drivers take a kid to the bus parking area to help clean and such? Also when I grow up can I get the same bus androute my bus driver had or has?

Asked by Carter about 3 years ago

Hi Carter,

Technically, no, the bus driver cannot take a kid to the bus parking area to help clean up unless there was a good reason and it was previously approved by the school and the parents.  That situation would be if the kid had vandalized the seats or bus in any way and was cleaning the bus instead of having his/her parents pay for the damage.  As far as getting the same bus and route your driver is currently on, depending on your area bus shop will depend on how they run things.  Where I live, all the drivers keep their same routes and buses unless new buses come in and those are given out yearly.  In other areas, the drivers have to bid on the routes and buses they use.  It really depends on where you live.  Also buses are typically put out of service after a certain mileage for the safety of the students.

Follow up to the bus driver video taping my child. Are parents allowed to request to view the bus recording for the day in question. Was told there was nothing on the surveillance tape yet they informed us they had a talk with the driver anyways. Thx

Asked by Learjet60xr over 2 years ago

In my particular area, whether a parent views a surveillance tape is left up to the school. Due to legalities involved in the privacy of other children on the bus, my workplace does not allow parents to view videotapes, but if individual schools make that choice, then that is on those schools. As inevitably happens with kids on the bus, if a parent views the tape, they tend to focus on children other than their own. This is why we choose not to let parents view the videotapes. You are more than welcome to ask, the worst they can say is no.

Hi Im 53 and just looking into being a school bus driver
I'm a barber on the weekends.
Can I make a living doing this?

Asked by Gary almost 3 years ago

Well if you like to cut hair then of course you can make a living doing that.  All kidding aside, driving a bus depends on your area.  In my area, the pay is low, so many drivers supplement their pay with other jobs between driving the bus.  Most people get the bus driving job in order to get reliable health insurance.

Can a bus driver refuse a child that was assigned to there bus that is required to carry a epi pen? Can they also refuse transport this child. In the event of emergency with this child can they use there union right to refuse transport and medical at

Asked by amber about 3 years ago

Tough questions.  Legally, if a child is having an issue such as an allergic reaction and the child has an epi-pen on themselves, we are trained to help the child administer the epi-pen to themselves (in the form of putting their hand around the epi-pen and guiding it to the right spot so that the medicine is delivered appropriately).  That being said, if your child has a severe enough allergy that the bus driver is simply not comfortable with handling it (as can be the case with severe bee sting or peanut allergies) the driver does have the discretion to advise you to seek other types of transportation.  They can go to their supervisors and try to work with you to find alternate modes of transportation for your child.  It may be that the child needs to be on a special education bus.  As it is, I have a child who is a diabetic on my bus (also a very common issue) and I am in the process of speaking to qualified nurses and doctors on the best way to help this child should their sugar drop.  I advise you to take it to the bus garage and see what they say.

Hi! I'm Jenna I'm in 8th grade and about to move to another town. I am really worried about getting on the bus and looking lost and weird if that bus has assigned seating will the bus driver tell me where to sit or will I just have to find empty seat

Asked by Jenna almost 3 years ago

Hi Jenna!

Moving can be scary, but just a few tips for when you get on the bus in your new town.  Ask the bus driver if they have a place for you to sit.  If the driver says sit anywhere or sit in x section, you can either go down the aisle and ask another kid if you can sit with them or find an empty seat depending on where you are in the route.  Sometimes as a driver I have some kids raise their hands so I can tell a new kid to sit with someone I know is going to be friendly and welcome them.  If the driver has assigned seating, they will probably tell you where to sit.

Finally if you're still nervous, have your parent or guardian call and speak to the bus driver before you get on the bus.  I have lots of parents calling me asking me questions about my bus, and to get a time for their children to be at their designated bus stop.  Good luck!

M son is consistently bad on the school bus(7 yrs). The principle stated he is being disruptive, getting out of his seat and not listening to the driver. We're notified 3-4 days after. We will try anything to get him to behave. Recommendations?

Asked by Frustrated Parent almost 3 years ago

Dear Frustrated,

I'm sorry to read that you are having difficulties with your son on the bus. Seven is a challenging age because their attention span has not developed fully and they can be a little rowdy without intentionally misbehaving. First, I would identify the behavior that is being mentioned. Second, ask if the principal has seen a video tape of the bus ride. More often, if there is a miss communication, a video tape can speak volumes as to the actual situation. Third, identify positive behavior rewards for your son. (Example to follow) Fourth, speak with the bus driver directly. Ask if there is a seating arrangement that might put your son in the direct line of sight of the bus driver but close enough to the front so that your son might feel he needs to behave. Implement identified rewards both at home AND on the bus for positive bus behavior. Finally, talk to your son and listen to what he has to say about the situation. He may have a different perspective.

Example: I have 4 pre-k kids on the bus this year and I bought coloring books, crayons, and coloring tablets (plastic clipboard things). Every day they get on the bus in the afternoons (mornings aren't an issue as they are quiet and usually sleepy) they get their choice of coloring pages and crayons. It keeps them busy and occupied while they are riding the bus. When they get off the bus, if they have sat and behaved, they get a sticker. Some of my older kids love the coloring pages too and ask for them. Maybe something like this might help your son to behave. I also allow electronic devices on my bus so ipods, cell phones, pocket games. It keeps my kids occupied so that I don't have to get onto them as much. I hope this helps. Good luck and feel free to email me at busdriverquestions@gmail.com with a followup.

Hello. Is the pre-trip inspection hard? Right now, I'm not very mechanic. So, I've heard you need to check the lights, simple, but what about all the other stuff? And when should bus drivers start to wake up and go to bed?

Asked by Carter. almost 3 years ago

The pre-trip inspections vary from state to state and bus shop to bus shop, but overall, they aren't all that hard to follow.  In my district, our pre-trip inspections are basically ensuring all the lights work, the horn works, the stop arm and the stop sign come out, emergency buzzers are active and working as well as the door functional. Any mechanical issue is usually discovered either in the fuel line or when the bus stops working for some reason.  Since we don't fuel our own buses, the mechanics do it, they check the fluids and all under the hood for us.  

As far as going to bed and waking up, that will depend on your individual route and district.  For mine, I don't have a set bedtime or anything like that, but my route starts at 6:35 am every morning so I have to plan to be up and out the door by 6:10-6:15 every morning.  I usually wake up at 5:45 ish (start to wake up/alarm goes off at 5:30), in the shower by 5:50, and out the door by 6:20. It only takes me a few minutes to drive to work, so I'm on the bus yard by 6:25 and on my bus and enroute by 6:30 to my first stop.

A new dispatcher is being
disrespectful to me on the
radio and in general. I tried
to help in a rock throwing
incident and she later told me
to be quiet.

Asked by judyf almost 3 years ago

Judy,

Sometimes dispatchers are under a lot more stress in situations that are emergencies or safety issues.  I would recommend taking a step back and listening to the radio chatter that occurs during an incident.  Two common incidents we have in my area are vehicle accidents and trains.  While neither really involves a school bus other than the knowledge to reroute in the case of an emergency or to save time, the conversations often go something like this:

Vehicle accident - 

Random bus driver - x to bus shop, there has been a vehicle accident at the intersection of x and x. Advised that other drivers reroute to avoid.

Bus shop - 10-4 advising drivers to avoid intersection of x and x.

Other bus driver - What color was the car/truck involved?

Still another one - Who got in an accident?

Third - What intersection was it?

Fourth - How did they get into an accident is the whole intersection blocked off?

Fifth - Bus shop, i had my radio down and didnt hear what was said.....

I could go on but then you get the idea.  The same occurs when a train is blocking an intersection.  Finally emergencies involving other buses can be as stressful when you have 5+ people who are offering to help but are running over each other on the radio at the chance to be the first to gawk at the incident.  Our bus shop actually tells us to stay off the radio as it is distracting and frustrating because the bus shop OR the driver involved in the emergency cannot seem to key up on the radio because of the flurry of idiotic activity from the other "well meaning" bus drivers.  I've even taken to calling the bus shop by cell phone to avoid the incessant radio chatter and questions regarding the incident from drivers OTHER than dispatch.

Point is, sometimes taking a step back and evaluating whether our voices are needed can sometimes make the few times we do decide to step up and help that much more meaningful.

I am currently taking my course to receive my school bus license. I am 26 years old and I am afraid the children (especially teenagers) will not take me seriously because I look young. Any advice for a new/young bus driver?

Asked by Tamy almost 3 years ago

I was actually between 24 and 25 when I started driving a bus. Just be consistent with the kids. Try to remember that they will be kids. They will turn around and kneel up and probably not sit down so that you feel like a broken record when you drive, but eventually they will learn to respect you and the way you do things if you are consistent and fair. If you expect one thing from one kid make sure that you expect the same from the other kids. In other words, its not fair if you are constantly telling one child to sit more than the others, or are singling that child out for the front seat.

Another thing, learn to let things go. You will have bad days and days where you want to pull your hair out, but the important thing is to remember not to let it get to you. If it is getting to you, make a positive change. Take a half day off and allow yourself to clear your mind. Finally, unless there is blood shed, its best to handle things diplomatically working your way up the ladder discipline wise. In example, start with the kids, relocate them to certain seats. Then move up to contacting parents, and finally contact of school administrators. My simple rules are as follows - Inside voices, quiet at the railroad, stay in your seat, no eating (water is okay), no fighting/bullying/watch your language. Some days they can be rowdy, but they listen, and respect my rules.

Good luck!

Hey there bus driver. A driver local to me was just suspended for getting off the bus while the engine was still on. That seems suspect, but what do you think? Here's the article: http://thetelegraph.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?avis=PE&date=20141201&c

Asked by Keith almost 3 years ago

The article doesn't seem to want to come up for me, but a quick Google search comes up with a couple stories relating to a bus driver leaving a bus running while stepping off the bus. In my district, we are taught never to get off the bus while it is idling with passengers on board. The only time it is acceptable for us is if we are doing our pre-trip inspection to ensure everything is operational. The reason why we are taught this is for safety. It can be very easy for a passenger to step to the front of the bus and press a couple buttons for fun. Pressing the wrong button or releasing the brake could endanger the other passengers on board. From a safety standpoint, the driver should have been suspended or at least very severely reprimanded. I don't think the offense warrants a loss of a job, but certainly a warning or some action for the driver endangering other passengers. That being said, there are some professions that allow for provisions of the driver stepping off the bus while it is idling, mostly to help a passenger. This can include luggage or any other items the passenger may be traveling with, along with and including walkers, wheelchairs, or other items. On a side note, the article I read on Google was about a driver who stepped off the bus to take a selfie with a Hollywood star. While the actions seem innocent, the driver utilized her cell phone on paid company time AND potentially endangered her passengers by stepping off the bus. Finally, while it is not wrong to ask for an autograph or selfie in general, it may look unprofessional to others, which is probably why she got reported.

Are the school bus cameras always on and can they turn it off

Asked by Paul almost 3 years ago

Typically bus cameras are on from the time the driver starts the bus to up to 15 minutes after the bus is shut down. This is a safety feature for students as well as drivers. The 15 minutes after the bus is shut down is long enough that it would be suspect if a driver were to deliberately shut down the bus and wait those 15 minutes before addressing students. In my district, we are not allowed to have the keys to the VCR or Digital recording boxes so that we can remove the tape ourselves. Sometimes the camera does not work properly or the roads are so bouncy that the VCR hiccups and ejects the tape so the system is not perfect. Digital cameras have made it easier for us because VHS tapes can be so easily corrupted.

Hello. I want to be a school bus driver when I grow up. The thing I am stressing out about is vision and hearing. Half of my family wears glasses to. Thanks, and is the bus driving test hard?

Asked by Carter about 3 years ago

Don't worry too much about the hearing and vision testing.  If you wear glasses regularly to drive, just wear those.  I wear glasses all the time and so do several of my friends who are bus drivers.  Also the test is only as hard as you make it.  Study up and you should pass it no problem.  Good luck!

When I applied for a bus driver position I put that I was wreck free for the past three years but it actually falls off in a few months. I will let them know but Could still get a bus driver position or does this factor me out?

Asked by Kayla over 2 years ago

If you lied on your application (or stretched the truth) they will still be able to see it on your DMV record if it was recorded on your license. Depending on who was at fault will determine whether they will hire you or not. If you were not up front and honest with them in the first place, they probably won't hire you. Had you spoken to the transportation director and explained that the wreck you were in was a few years ago and gave them details, then they might be willing to work with you. Good luck.

Does anyone know what the law is about not having heat on a school bus?

Asked by jhp almost 3 years ago

I don't know if there is a law or not. Most, if not all, school buses come equipped with heaters. Not every bus has an air conditioner, but a heater is fairly standard. Occasionally, as with other mechanical items on a bus, the heater may break down. This is usually unexpected and not preventable. It makes for a very cold bus ride in the mornings during the winter months if a heater breaks. Most of the time its fixable or if it needs further service, the bus companies will often swap buses out for a fully functioning bus. Also, as I told the kids who got on my bus in short sleeves and shivering this morning while holding their jacket in their arms... a jacket works better when its ON!

If you've picked up half of your kids, and it's icy/snowy and at the last minitue they notify you "So and so is now closed/2 hour delay" What would do?

Asked by Carter C. almost 3 years ago

First I would figure out who I have on the bus (is it elementary, middle school, high school?) The protocol for dropping off elementary is different from dropping off or handling high school. Secondly, I would figure out the individual school district policy. Then the following two scenarios can potentially occur and would be how I would logically handle it:

1. For a two hour delay - I would bring the students already on the bus directly to the school (or other designated area as defined by the bus shop/school district) then wait and begin my run again picking up the remainder of my students on my run from the beginning. The the students who were originally on the bus to begin with would end up getting into some place warm and off the icy/dangerous roads even though its earlier than the designated 2 hour delay. Chances are good the school districts prepare for something like this and will often open up the cafeteria or gym for the students to chill until the school day starts. 2. For a full on cancellation depending on where I am en-route - I would continue to the end of my route, turn around and begin dropping off students, starting with the last ones first. The reason for continuing to the end of the route would be to help notify any students whose parents either aren't home or have not gotten the message yet that school is cancelled. It also allows me to pick up those whose parents have left for the day thinking school is proceeding as normal. Once all is dropped off, whomever is left I would contact either their parents or the school if I cannot get hold of the parents (taking into consideration the child's age). Point is regardless of where the child will be, I would be responsible not to leave them where there is no adult supervision if it is required.

If you see a bus drive do something that you feel isn't safe with the kids on the bus, what should you do? (IE- turning in traffic on busy road when it's not their turn to go).

Asked by Kaskitowa over 2 years ago

Call it in to the authorities, or to the local bus shop/school district labeled on the outside of the school bus. Sometimes drivers do get distracted and make poor decisions. They still need to be notified so that they can adjust their driving style. There have been a few times where I have not made the best decision and pulled out inadvertently in front of someone on a blind corner, but we are human and all make mistakes. I would rather someone come to me and tell me that I need to watch how I drive than to endanger children anymore than necessary.

My bus driver told be she was going to write me up. All because I told her she should put on her seat belt, and to stop texting and driving. She yelled at me for no reason as well. Am I going to get in trouble for doing the right thing?

Asked by Michael. over 2 years ago

If she is texting and driving and being unsafe on the bus, you do need to report it. If she threatens you with a write up if you do report it, then she needs to be reported. You shouldn't be worried about retaliation from the school for reporting her unprofessional behavior.

I have a couple questions about retarders on the school buses? Are they allowed in all states? Are they required? When were they first introduced? Why were they put on buses in the first place?

Asked by Belinda over 2 years ago

I'm not sure of the legalities associated with retarders or governors on buses, however I do know that the federal speedlimit for buses is 55 mph maximum. Various states and counties may have their own rules, but as for ours, we are pre-set to 55-59 mph maximum speed. This is to keep the children safe as well as drivers.

Yes im a obi for school bus drivers are you allowed to drive a bus with your temps With a driver who is not an obi certified?

Asked by carol over 2 years ago

I'm not sure what an OBI is exactly. Assuming it is similar to a driver trainer, if a driver has their temporary CDL-B license, then I would think it would be illegal for them to drive a bus without someone who is a certified trainer.

My 6yr old told us his bus driver video taped him getting off the bus. Very well behaved boy, never been any issues with him or others his age. I'm positive it wasn't to record bad behavior. Driver very friendly, son said it was uncomfortable. Legal?

Asked by Frank over 2 years ago

First off, is this a school sanctioned thing? For example, is the bus driver recording students in order to put together a "school bus safety" video for the district. If so, then notices should have been sent around to all parents of the children involved. As it is the only LEGAL camera on the bus is the one that is hooked up to the bus monitoring system. Occasionally, I might take photographs of certain kids, but that's because I know their parents and will text them a goofy picture of their kid. Usually it is co-workers children. At any rate, I would seriously question why this driver is videotaping your child getting on and off the bus, or if maybe there was a miscommunication and the driver was referring to the overhead cameras in a bus lecture which are pointed at the students getting on and off the bus and sitting in the seats.

can a bus driver ask for your name and phone number legally?

Asked by Caleb over 2 years ago

If it is done in the manner of asking for student information, then yes. We need to know how to contact people in the case of an emergency. However, if this is a driver asking for your phone number just to call or text, then that is kind of weird. I will often ask a student their name if I am not entirely certain of their name.

I take my road test next week and will be given my own route immediately upon passing it. As a new driver, are there any mistakes that newbie bus drivers commonly make that I should try and watch out for?

Asked by Stephanie E. over 2 years ago

Be firm but fair. Don't let them see your weaknesses, but also realize that they are kids and will make mistakes. Try to listen to the kids. Calm bus driver = calm bus kids = easy time for all. Good luck!

So today I threw something on the bus , and it landed close to the bus driver . So he stop the bus and called in the radio and asked who threw it and I said it was me , what will happen to me ?

Asked by What will happen to me ? almost 2 years ago

Did you apologize for throwing something? If so, its likely the driver probably accepted your apology, no harm no foul. If he said he was going to write you up, then you will have to accept the consequences that the school gives you for throwing something you shouldn't have. If you want to really impress the bus driver and let him know you are really sorry for what you did, you can simply write him an apology letter and hand it to him tomorrow when you board the bus. If you don't feel like writing an apology, then simply saying you're sorry to the bus driver will make all the difference in the world. My bus kids know that its easier to be up front and honest with me and that its likely they will only get a verbal warning for their behavior. Good luck.

Is there a minimum age to become a school bus driver? I'm 20. Is it a potential job while I myself am in school? Drive 5-8, class 9-12, drive 2-5?

Asked by Matt almost 3 years ago

Each state has their own laws regarding the age of bus drivers. I think here in Georgia it is 21 or 22. Other than that I'm not sure. As far as time is concerned, yes it can be worked during a college schedule. In fact I am in college myself and manage my job and college.

Does a bus driver have the right to put their hands on a child

Asked by jessica over 2 years ago

That depends on the situation at hand. As a rule of thumb, I don't put my hands on any of the children on my bus because of the liability issues surrounding that. If a child offers a hug, I will sideways hug or simply reach my hand up and pat them on the side of the head ensuring that minimal body contact happens. That being said, if there is a safety issue and the children are at risk of being injured or killed (an example of this would be if a vehicle is choosing to ignore our stop signs and warning lights for loading and unloading children) I will put my arm out to stop a child or pull them back from harms way. Not in any malicious intent, but only to watch out for their well being.

How many feet off the school bus does the cameras pick up sound?

Asked by Angelina over 2 years ago

It depends on the type of system, but most sound systems on a bus pick up surrounding noise, but the best noise happens about 4-6 feet surrounding the microphone.

Im in ny and I wanna know is it legal for a bus driver to buckle up certain children on the bus and when they say it is too tight she won't loosen it? It's only my 2 children she does this to.

Asked by Nikki over 2 years ago

If the buses are equipped with seatbelts and the children can fasten them themselves, then we make them fasten their seatbelt. If they need help, we help them. We do adjust according to child size and needs. If in fact the belt is too tight, then you can probably speak to her supervisor, but chances are probably good that the seatbelts are properly adjusted so that the children cannot turn around in the seat or sit sideways. Similar to how a car is set up. Many buses have simple lap belts but more buses are going to the 3 point shoulder harness model similar to what you see in todays standard automobiles. Those, like the seatbelts in a car, are automatically adjusted. If the belts are leaving marks on your children then they are too tight, however, consider this... if the bus is in a roll over accident... would you rather your children slip out of an improperly adjusted belt and snap their necks or be fully secured to the seat minimizing injury.

Hi, im 22 and will be starting in 2wks ( youngest driver btw ) How does a bus driver get their bus assigned to them. For example how do some get the newest buses and some keep the old. I know it has to do with bidding, but how does this process work.

Asked by CJ over 2 years ago

Buses and routes are typically determined by your specific company that you will be working for. In my district, the routes are designated by number and the ones with the longest routes in miles or those that do many field trips out of town get preferential treatment when the newer buses arrive on the lot. Most of our drivers keep the same route year after year so unless the driver voluntarily gives up their route, or retires, the routes stay the same as do the drivers. That being said, there is a fair amount of turnover between drivers and floaters and substitutes and its likely you would get a route in a short amount of time. Be aware though if there are several routes that are listed as "open" it is likely that those are the routes no driver wants because the kids are absolutely awful on those routes. On the other hand, it takes a special driver to handle those sorts of routes and make them "good" routes again.

I am a school bus driver. I have an unruly student who is videotaping and taking pictures of me and other students. I don't like it and the students don't either. What can I do? Can I take his Ipod from him?

Asked by flewggle over 2 years ago

I would check to see what your district policy is on electronics on school property. In my district, electronics such as cellphones or music players or the like are not allowed primarily in school or on school property which includes the school bus. As for me, I allow these things unless they start to cause a nuisance between the kids, in which case I usually will warn the child with the offending device and warn of the consequences (confiscation and a parental phone call) Most of the time the kids will tone it down and behave. Have you tried warning this child of the consequences for his behavior? Finally, you can get the back up of your supervisor in order to help manage this.

Is it illegal for the bus driver to her kids open the doors??

Asked by Isabelle over 2 years ago

If the proper procedure is followed and the bus is secured, I see no reason why a driver cannot teach their children how to operate and secure the bus and that includes opening the door. In my view, if there was an emergency on the bus, I would want my kids to know how to pull the brake, set the bus in neutral, turn the key off and open the door. My elementary kids have shown a healthy interest in learning how to do these things so I actually do let them on the bus, I have complete control over when and if they do it and it boosts their confidence and knowledge. That being said, I would never let them randomly open the door without my approval or knowledge.

Im about to retire in september and was wanting to become a school bus driver and I understand you can only make a certain amount of money,are drivers allowed to work one part of the split shift,eitheir morning or evening,but not both.

Asked by robert over 2 years ago

That would be left up to the district you want to work for. Many of our drivers are semi-retired and still work a full time shift. The money is low, but its an easy job. That would also be something you would have to take up with the social security office. Good luck.

How often do you hear kids coughing on your bus and do you worry you will share in their sickness?

Asked by Freewash over 2 years ago

Every day. I don't worry about sharing in their sickness because no matter what you do or where you go, germs are everywhere. That shopping cart handle.. filthy, that movie seat... filthy, that public transportation bus... filthy. If i'm going to get sick, I'm simply going to get sick.

When a school bus travels at 60MPH, why does an alarm go off and the bus slows down?

Asked by Jon over 2 years ago

Sorry for the delay in reply. Usually it means that the bus is governed to a certain speed that it can't exceed. Some buses have alarms to notify the driver of a speed exceeded in which case the bus will automatically slow. Other buses will just hit that maximum speed and simply slow or hold at that max speed.

Why do bus monitor check understand buses

Asked by alias over 2 years ago

I'm not sure what you are asking with this question. Please resubmit your question.

What happens when a bus driver writes somebody up?

Asked by Imari almost 2 years ago

The citations are usually handled by the school. The bus driver will turn the citation into the proper authorities (principal or supervisor) and the citation will be handled from there. The consequence depends on the severity of the behavior written on the citation. For example: two kids in a fight will get 3 days off the bus but the kid who gets in trouble for using foul language might only get a warning. It depends on your school districts policy.

when the bus is not in does the camera roll

Asked by nar over 2 years ago

The camera will roll anywhere from 5-15 minutes after the bus is shut down, and then the camera will stop rolling.

What will happen if I get written up for the first tin?. Will the bus driver call my parents? Is it just a warning?

Asked by Emily about 2 years ago

Depends on what you did and how the school handles the disciplinary form. If you talk with the bus driver respectfully and ask the driver what you can do to avoid getting in trouble then you may be able to avoid the situation and fix it.

Is it difficult to remember your route, or they make it pretty simple to let you know where all the stops are?

Asked by Yvonne over 2 years ago

Its fairly easy once you get the hang of it. For a regular driver, the route does not usually change day-to-day with the exception of when the driver gets new kids on the route or kids move off the route making it unnecessary to drive into a certain section of their designated route boundary area. An example of this is if you have a child who lives at the end of a long dead end road who doesn't ride anymore, then the route would change in that you would not go down that road in the future. As a substitute, there are route descriptions that most bus shops will provide their drivers so that they may be able to follow it in order to pick up or drop off students.

I found as a sub, the easiest way to learn a route and remember it was to have a child tell you how the route runs. You eventually learn the stops on each bus route and create a mental map in your head.

What happens to a student when another student hits someone with and object like a belt

Asked by Lola almost 2 years ago

Well, it depends on the age of the child and the circumstances. If an object was thrown and it hit another child accidentally, I obviously handle that situation differently. On my bus, unless any visible marks were left by the object on the victim, then I will normally call or speak with the parents of the child who threw the object as well as notify the parents of the victim. In more severe cases where marks were left, I write the children up (both the victim and the offender) because often there is more to the story than just the object being thrown or used against the victim and then I also call the parents of the children to let them know what my course of action is. I also pull the video tape on my bus and review it to see if it was a clear case of victimization or a tit for tat situation. Even in clear cases of victimization - the victim will get written up but a notation will be made that they were the VICTIM and not the offending student. This is so the principal or administrator knows exactly who to talk to over the incident.

Let's say, a child is entering the bus on the side of a stop sign. There is a car being ignorant, and is not stopping. What would you do? Also, what do you think of the idea, flying school buses?

Asked by Carter over 2 years ago

First, I would blow my horn to try to get the child's attention as well as the oncoming traffic's attention. Secondly, the child should not move towards the bus until I have cleared all traffic and made sure it is safe for the child to do so. Third, if the person passes me, I will do my best to get their license plate number and their car description written down so that I can turn them into the police for disobeying traffic laws regarding school buses.

Flying school buses - a little far fetched though kind of interesting.

Ello, again. This was a question on the top of my head-Would it be appropriate to take a video of the bus moving? I think the bus driver would think you are a creep. What's your opinion?

Asked by Carter C. over 2 years ago

Apologies, I have been on vacation the last month or so with many other priorities that I have neglected this Q&A. The only way a video camera should be used on a bus or aimed at a bus is to catch the driver or students in the act of wrong doing. If you see a bus weaving in and out of traffic or making an improper stop at a rail road crossing, video tape. Then bring the tape to the attention of the bus company. The driver needs to be reprimanded and held accountable.

We were about to go out to our bus stop, but, the bus driver sped by being about 7-10 minutes early. Aren't the bus drivers suppose to stop an wait for a small time?

Asked by redblake66 over 2 years ago

The bus driver should stop at every stop on his or her route, however waiting is left up to the individual bus driver. You may need to adjust your time in going down to your bus stop to ensure you do not miss the stop. The bus driver may have a new stop or has needed to adjust the time of your bus stop in order to make things run more smoothly. Additionally, there might have been a substitute on the bus that was unaware of the stop. I recommend being out at the stop at least 5 minutes ahead of time. If I stop at a stop, I will typically wait 5 seconds before closing the door and moving on. If I see students coming towards the bus, I will wait. However if the student is chronically late to the stop or dawdles and doesn't come directly to the bus in a timely manner, then I am more apt to shut the door and leave the student behind, especially if they have been given a warning about the time they are to be at the stop.

Are you supposed to wait for the student to see if someone's home or drive away leaving the child alone by themselves? If not can you lose your job for that?

Asked by Ciara about 2 years ago

We are required to stop at every stop, however if a student does not exit the house or is at the stop in a timely manner (we request at least 5 minutes before the stop time to be AT the stop waiting on the bus) then we can leave. If my bus students are not out waiting on me, I will stop and wait for 3-5 seconds before closing the door and moving on. This is in addition to setting the brake, shifting the bus in neutral, and activating the lights. If some of them are out, but others are still walking to the stop, then I will wait for them at the stop. If I do not see them exit the house in a timely manner then I can leave them. Some drivers will honk the horn to notify the kids that they are at their stop, however I do not do this except under extreme circumstances for example if a child is an every day rider for instance and suddenly misses the bus one morning. This is because every child would take advantage of the extra time and come to expect the horn beep. If I have to be out for any reason or any length of time, I want my substitute to know that my bus kids will be at their designated stop at the designated time. If it is raining however, I do allow for extra time so that the children can come to the bus from a covered area.

In the afternoons, we are only required to see if a parent is home for children that are under 3rd grade. Unless otherwise instructed by a parent to leave the child at the stop, it is always best to err on the side of caution. We can potentially get in trouble if a student is left unattended that should have been supervised. In the past, if a student tells me they have forgotten their house key, I will call the child's parent to find out what the parent wishes me to do with the child.

Is a bus driver allowed to ask a child personal questions regarding another child? Also, the result of the questioning made him uncomfortable and cry, and it has nothing to do with the safety of either child. Is this sort of questioning legal?

Asked by Cynthia about 2 years ago

I would need examples of the questions being asked in order to better understand the situation. That being said I rarely ask any child any side of a situation but his or her own. For example, on my bus on Friday, I had let one of my more challenging students sit further back from the front. As such, he subsequently threw something at other kids which made a big problem on the bus. Instead of accusing any one child, I asked each child what happened and their side to the story. This stopped them from being upset over the situation and allowed them to control their side to it.In the end, I got the truth about what happened, correlated by several kids, and not one of them accused the other of doing it.

Have you ever had any close calls with motorists disobeying your stop sign? Does it happen often?

Asked by Bill over 2 years ago

Yes. I have had a few close calls, though luckily none of my children have been hurt. Motorists disobeying the stop sign happens more often than you think. I apologize for the delay in responding.

Our bus drivers in are school district leave children after bus stops, found mouth them and one even drove with the door open in the winter time to school and the school district does nothing about are you going reported the bus driver to CYS in ?

Asked by Jen about 2 years ago

I'm not sure exactly what your question is, but from what I gather, safety is a concern. If the school district isn't doing anything to stop the behavior of drivers, then please report the behavior to the police. That being said, make sure you know exactly what the driver has said or done or you could be accused of filing a false police report. You may have a situation where the driver has been instructed to leave students.

I do have responsible high school kids on my bus that I could of send to get water. luckily one of the student had a water bottle. My question is what if I had no water supervisor says no don't pull over. Child passes out. Who does the blame fall on

Asked by cali almost 2 years ago

The blame falls on the school district in my opinion. Heat is not something you want to play around with especially around children. If you're hot, imagine the ones who can't speak up for themselves or the little ones who get overheated really quickly. That's why even if my supervisor says no to stopping at a store to get water for the child that is obviously in distress, I would still do so because that child is depending on me to help them and my first responsibility is to the children in my care on the bus. Case in point - I have a diabetic child on my bus. Even though she has not shown any signs of distress or problems managing her diabetes, I always keep a water bottle and some easily dissolved sugar on the bus just in case she has a crisis. Maybe you could keep some water bottles or something on the bus to help manage a situation like that before it gets to be a problem? Finally, if they try to blame you for the child's distress (as some parents will), your best course of action is to take the situation above your supervisor if your supervisor is unsupportive.

Can I take my own children on my route instead of having to find alternate childcare?

Asked by SusanB almost 2 years ago

That would depend on your local bus company. Different companies have different policies. In my district, as long as the children are school age, they are allowed to ride our buses. It also will depend on which schools you end up serving as to where your children can attend school within the district. Your best bet is to call the bus shop and speak to the supervisor on the bus shop's policy on the matter.

Does the county or transportation department accommodate your route if you have an elementary aged kid of your own ?

Asked by Corey h. almost 2 years ago

That largely depends on the bus company itself. Most drivers who have children only do it because it affords them the opportunity to drive their own children to and from school and get paid for it. That being said some drivers may be asked to take on different routes until the route that is near their home comes open. Each bus company does routing differently. In my county, parents are allowed to have their own children on their buses, but it can sometimes cause issues with "favoritism" among students whether real or imagined.

What is the age you need to be to become a school bus mechanic at the bus shop? One of my friend said he know's a person in high school who works at the bus shop. Thank's!

Asked by Schoolbusfan92 about 2 years ago

My apologies for a late reply - I'm not sure about mechanic - but I know for a driver position, it depends on each state and individual company. Most companies will request a driver be at least 21. As for a qualified mechanic, 18 would be a legal age to work. As for your friend, the highschool in the area might have an agreement with the school to have students complete a work study. This allows a student to get experience while completing some generic duties.

Do school bus drivers look through the seats when there done with their job for the day?

Asked by Jocelyn almost 2 years ago

That depends on the individual bus driver but most of us at least do a short walk through at the end of every route to make sure the kids have all exited the bus. Whether they dig in the seats and find objects hidden is dependent on each individual bus driver. Personally, I check my bus, but my kids also know that they better take all their objects with them because some other kids aren't honest.

If my child bus got into a car accident and didn't notify me of it, is it illegal in the state of tx

Asked by Katie over 1 year ago

Far as I can tell the notifications are left up to individual bus companies. I would assume it is based on severity of accident. If the bus was involved in a minor fender bender where no children are hurt, it is likely they will be either transferred to another bus and then delivered home or to school, or the bus is undamaged so it is able to deliver a student to and from school. You should review your individual school system policies to see what their protocol is on notifying parents of bus accidents.

Hello, Im having a problem with our bus driver. She doesnt say good morning or say anything and is forcing her to sit with older boys and she doesnt want to. I told her she needs to get her a bus buddy for the morning so she isnt scared. Any advice?

Asked by Jordan Flowers about 2 years ago

Have you tried speaking with the bus driver directly? Maybe there is a space issue and the driver has assigned seats. If your child is the last stop (in the morning), then it may be that the only seats available are ones with boys in them. If possible you could request that your child be seated next to a child of the same gender or paired up with someone else. When I have assigned seats on my bus, I usually will pair children together with ones whom I know are their friends on the bus. Sometimes with the younger ones, I will pair them up with either classmates or older positive influences.

As far as saying good morning or anything to the children, it is each bus drivers individual preferences. I prefer to greet every child with a friendly good morning. If I don't greet children, they know its either because I was distracted or otherwise occupied answering a child. Sometimes you speaking to the bus driver might bring about the change that your child needs. Good luck!

This is a reply to your question... The girls are not crowded at all us boys are since we have so little seats that we usually have 3 to a seat the girls (there are less girls)get to do what every they want drink or eat but us boys cant do anythin

Asked by NotJohn almost 2 years ago

Then you may want to check in with the district and the bus shop to see if something can be done. Have you considered talking with the driver to see what his reasoning is? Maybe if you approach it with a polite manner, he might be more amenable to changing or giving an extra row of seats for space. Good luck.

What should the kids do if the bus flips or crashes? Why do they do while it's happening?

Asked by Tone-IY about 2 years ago

It depends on the state you live in as to how the bus is configured for example if the bus has seatbelts or not. The best course of action once one has experienced an accident, especially something as severe as a crash or flipping over, is to evacuate the bus using one of the designated exits. If the driver is conscious and able to perform his/her duties, they will instruct you on how to exit the bus, otherwise exiting the bus in a safe manner and then moving a distance away from the wreck for safety is advised. For simple fender benders or less serious accidents, the driver will tell you what he or she expects.

To minimize your injury in an accident, sit the proper way in a seat with your bottom against the seat bottom, your back against the seat back and your feet on the floor. Sitting sideways or kneeling up reduces the efficacy of the structure of the bus when it comes to accidents. If your bus is equipped with seatbelts, wear them. Stay calm. Accidents are unexpected so there is no real way to prepare for them. It is not quite like an airplane where they have the safety brochure and "crash positions". We are on the road so it is hard to predict how other drivers will be.

Should the bus driver wait to pull off until after the aide has buckled the child in the car seat?

Asked by Mizz Valdez almost 2 years ago

That's a tough question to answer. My instinct is that before the bus starts moving that all children should be secured in seatbelts (provided the bus has a seatbelt for the child) or at the very least, all children should be seated. I drive a bus without seatbelts and my rule of thumb is that I will wait until most, if not all of my kids are settled in their seats before continuing with the route. At a maximum, I might let up on the brake and roll the bus forward but I wont hit the gas until they are seated. The only other time where this might need to have an exception is if the bus stop is on a main busy highway and it would be more dangerous to remain stopped for longer than is necessary. Aides on the buses help alleviate any driver issues with getting the kids buckled in.

The bus picks up my 6&4 year old every morning by pulling up my drive way and turning around but dropping them off won't and I was running late and he dropped them off at main road and left them to walk a block luckily I was pulling up what can I do?

Asked by Leslie over 1 year ago

You can call the individual bus yard for your school district to check to see what the policy is on stops. I will usually make a stop in front of a child's house with the exception of a few of my stops. One stop is down at a dead end and there is no turn around spot for me, so the children have to meet me at the nearest intersection. The other few times is during my first run, I give certain older kids the opportunity to get off at a stop and walk to their homes, though on the second round I often pass by their homes directly.

101 degree weather no ac on bus children riding for an hr are hot red and sweaty and needs water bus driver asks supervisor permission to stop and give child water. At a store near bus stop there was high school students and middle Supervisor says no

Asked by cali almost 2 years ago

That's a tough call. Personally, on hot days, I bring water for all my bus kids. It may not be cold water, but it is liquid. If there is a definite need like the child is going to pass out or in serious health decline due to the heat, then I would probably send one of my more responsible kids in for water at the store and take the heat later from my supervisor. The biggest issue I have there is that there was either no one on the bus to supervise the kids if the driver got off or that kids can be hard to control if let off to go into a store.

My son marked on the bus seats and the bus driver told me that they are new seat and has to talk with the bus transportation. do you think we would have to buy a new seat?

Asked by mom of a 1st grader almost 2 years ago

It is a very good possibility that you will be billed with the cost of a replacement seat cover if the existing cover cannot be cleaned. I'm not sure how much those generally run, though a quick search on google revealed that the replacement covers are usually 8 to 15 dollars depending on where the school bus transportation department places their orders. The seat covers are usually ordered to match the interior color of the seats. There may also be an installation or other surcharge for putting the seat cover on the seat as it is a bit of a process in order to ensure that the cover is secure and fits well. That being said, it might be a good idea to discuss with your son the proper way to respect other peoples property. Just like you wouldn't let him draw on the walls at home, he shouldn't draw on the bus seat. I have a soft spot for elementary kids and usually there are cleaners out there that can remove marker stains from the seats. If your son would ride my bus, I would likely ask you if it would be okay if he could clean the seat on which he drew. If the marks still did not come up with a generic cleaner, then I would still praise him for trying to clean up his mess and then get a different cleaner to attempt to clean the marks myself after telling him that sometimes cleaners don't always erase the mistakes we make. Sometimes kids (especially little ones) don't think of their actions before they do it, so I keep that in mind and adjust my approach accordingly.

Today someone called my company to say my kids were not sitting in the bus. I have nothing but problems with these kids and I have wrote up tons of them. This year I have 68 kids on my bus and are 3 to a seat. I can't get them to sit.

Asked by Someone called in on me almost 2 years ago

What happens when they get written up? If you are having a problem with overcrowding, you have a few options. The first would be to go to your supervisor. They may be able to rearrange and take some of the students off your bus route in order to alleviate the overcrowding issue. Most any kid is going to have problems sitting three to a seat, especially if they are older kids. A second option is to speak to your supervisor about splitting your route into two runs. I service elementary, middle, and high school students on my bus and due to an overcrowding issue I experienced last year, I opted to do an abbreviated first run in order to drop off approximately 20 students to alleviate the need to have most everyone at 3 to a seat. I still get done at the same time every day, actually about 5 minutes earlier by simply going to two runs. My kids are comfortable and they behave much better because they are not packed in like sardines.

A third option is for you to assign everyone a seat. Anyone not in their assigned seat or standing in their assigned seat will get written up.

My bus driver stopped in the middle of the road and turned off the bus because someone farted, she said she wasn't going until it went away. Is that legal? She has done this several other times.

Asked by Amanda almost 2 years ago

If the bus is not pulled over in a safe manner and is left in the middle of a road, then the bus driver is in the wrong and should be reported. However, dirt roads don't often allow us to pull over as far as we'd like or are so narrow that we have to travel center. As far as your bus mate farting, I suggest the child learn to control his or her bodily functions.

So my name is not john but I am a high schooler and I go to a public school and I ride 3 buses but the bus I ride on the way home he separates boys from girls girls get the whole back and us boys get 8 seats and the girls get the rest is it legal???

Asked by NotJohn almost 2 years ago

It is legal and well within the bus driver's right to assign seats on the bus. Different drivers choose to do it by sections or by sides, or even by assigning each child a specific spot on a seat. I have my bus divided by grade level, though i have so many middle schoolers that it is difficult to contain them to just a section of rows. So my bus rules are my elementary (pre-k thru grade 5) cannot go past row 6 which is about the halfway point of my 72 passenger bus. My middle school and high school share the remaining 6 rows. Depending on the number of kids in each school I serve will determine whether I allow them certain privileges and that does include restricting seats.

Unless you are forced to sit 3 to a seat to where 3 high schoolers in a seat would make the ride dangerous and unsafe due to lack of space, then really its up to the bus driver. Are the girls crowded? Are there more girls than boys? If the numbers are that all the boys fit (at 2 to a seat) in the 8 seats available (4 rows of seats) then there really isn't an issue other than the fact you feel it is unfair. Life isn't fair.

Today, I was not allowed on either of the 2 late buses because they said they didn't have my stop...two days ago they did and all last year they did, is it legal for them to say that neither can drive me home even though i am registered??

Asked by Kat about 2 years ago

Late buses are generally used to get students within reasonable walking distance (1 mile) of their homes. That being said, I don't know the policies of your particular bus service. Maybe you should have your parents check with the bus barn and the school in order to make sure they do have your stop on the list.

Why do bus drivers sometimes have a random person riding on the bus with them? Is that person just examining the driver or is the driver gonna quit? Went through this once and my bus driver stayed.

Asked by Kendra almost 2 years ago

There can be any number of reasons a bus driver has someone riding the bus with them. If its not a regular occurrence, then the person is likely a safety evaluator or supervisor of some sort. This may be so that the driver is periodically and randomly evaluated by the company they work for. Another reason you might find someone riding the bus with your driver is simply so that other person can learn your bus drivers route details. Periodically we might have to be absent from work for some reason or another and a substitute driver is needed. In order to cut down on the confusion, subs will often learn each route separately. Finally, if your bus is one that needs supervision by an aide, the driver could have requested someone to be an aide on the bus in order to help manage students behavior.

Will a school bus driver ever get off the bus if kids are inside?

Asked by Dan Melton almost 2 years ago

Typically, no. However there have been circumstances where a driver does need to exit the bus. It also depends on the situation. Some bus companies require bus drivers to also act as crossing guards so they have to secure their buses and escort children across a road. Another circumstance where a driver would need to exit the bus while students are on the bus is to either speak privately (at the doorway to the bus) with a parent or an administrator. Finally if the bus driver has to use the bathroom, in my district we are authorized to ask for someone to come watch our bus while we use the facilities.

I was wondering if it was legal to stop at a gas station when taking the kids home from school, like with kids still in it?

Asked by Abby over 1 year ago

There are a myriad of reasons why a bus could stop at a gas station. The bus should not be left with students unattended or if the driver has to leave, then the driver should take the keys out of the ignition and secure the bus as though no-one were on it. Sometimes there may have been a sick child and the driver made a judgement call to get the child to a bathroom, or the driver may have been ill him or herself.

Another thing that it may have been would be a sports team which usually leaves at around the same time school lets out. Often, the teams like gas station pit stops before leaving town or while out of town. I'd call the local bus yard and see if that driver is allowed to do that. Each county has its own rules.

I got written up on the bus for bringing a friend on the bus ride home with me. I didn't know this was against the rules, and now I'm scared; will this go on my permanent record?

Asked by Miles almost 2 years ago

If this was your first write up, chances are good the administrator will simply warn you or give you a short lecture if that. Nothing will go on a permanent record for something as trivial as bringing a friend home. In the future though, if your friend wants to ride the bus, it's probably best if your friend gets a pass from the office stating that he/she can ride the bus home with you. I wouldn't worry too much about it.

I don't write kids up just because they want to bring a friend home. I do require that their friends get passes, or at least if they couldn't get a pass, I will call a principal or assistant principal to the bus to give clearance for them to ride. We just need to watch out for the safety of every student.

Can you turn off the camera inside the bus

Asked by dee over 1 year ago

Our cameras are locked away to where we cannot turn off the cameras when the bus is on. However when the bus is stopped and turned off and NO students are on board, the cameras will turn off just like any other electronic when you turn on or off your vehicle. For the safety of the drivers, we are not allowed to turn off our buses while we have students on them except when waiting at a school, and then most of us turn our keys to the left all the way to keep the cameras rolling.

I have never been a driver. I am retired 62 years old. I have my own children and grandchildren. I love the idea of doing it but my wife has been discouraging. Saying it's too much stress and not worth it. I have an open mind. Am I missing something?

Asked by Charles over 1 year ago

I think you're missing something. I think that maybe if you want to do it, then you should give it a go. Worst that can happen is you go through the classes, drive the bus for a little bit, and decide its not for you.

Is the bus driver allowed to let a parent on the bus in a time of conflict?

Asked by Young over 1 year ago

Short answer - no. Long answer - yes with a but. If the parent is causing the conflict or there is an imminent danger to children the bus driver has a duty to call back up to help solve any major conflict. If the parent is looking to help a bus driver who has been assaulted, then okay but as long as it is not a revenge tactic. If its an emergency such as the child is choking or otherwise injured, then exceptions to that rule is warranted.

What happened to your blog? Really enjoy reading your blog!

Asked by Elen over 1 year ago

I haven't had much of a chance to blog recently. Its kind of a shame that I've not been as active in the blog-o-sphere. Maybe I'll create a new post referencing this Q&A so that people can come and get their questions answered directly.

When working for a bus contractor and a driver backs into a arbor and knocks it down and breaks flowers pots. Who is responsibiliity is it to pay to replace it

Asked by Bill Edwards over 1 year ago

If the driver backed into the arbor, knocked it down, and broke something then it should be up to the bus company to pay for a reasonable replacement of items broken or damaged. Accidents happen, and things should be fixed. I once backed into a yard and over a low fence (fence was largely decorative and only outlined parts of the driveway). I didn't think I had damaged anything but my boss got a call from the homeowners. Though I took responsibility, my boss just went and got the items needed to simply repair the damage (a post and one small piece of fence) It took all of 10 minutes to make the repair as it was a simple accident and not malicious in any way.

if you get caught kissing on the bus what happens?

Asked by double k over 1 year ago

Depends on the age of the student for me. If its a highschooler i might discipline them by making them sit up separated by gender. Same with any other grade level. Repeated offenses and I would turn them into the school for inappropriate display of affection

Can a bus school bus driver make a student sweep the floor legally.

Asked by Bo over 1 year ago

Legally speaking, probably not. However did the child do something that would warrant a need to clean up the bus? If so, such consequences should be discussed with the parent before hand unless the school opts to handle it that way. For example, a kid who has a chronic problem of not throwing away his trash may be asked to clean the bus in lieu of a harsher punishment like In School Suspension or Detention. My bus kids always like to help pick up the bus and I do have a couple of them who like to sweep up.

Hi l live in pa is legal for the bus drive to drop my 11 and 7 year off at the bottom of my road with out me there I always pick them up because we live a half mile from the school bus stop

Asked by brittany over 1 year ago

That would depend on your district laws. Look in the children's school handbook for bus policy and procedure. If in doubt, call the bus yard and ask. Eleven is a bit young to be let off with a younger sibling, but in my county and state, children as young as 9 can be left home alone without supervision or let off without a parent there. That being said, if you always pick them up and have never failed to pick them up, as a driver, I would immediately question you not being there. I have some kids whose parents meet them every day, and others whom if there is a vehicle in the yard, I am to assume (and have been told this by the parents) that somebody is home for the children though nobody is at the door to greet them. Additionally, a half mile seems quite a distance for an elementary kid to meet the bus. Is there a place down your road closer to your house that the bus could potentially turn around? Maybe you need to ask and see if there is a possibility to change the stop?

If a student slips and falls while they're getting off the bus (getting dropped off at home) is it the bus drivers job(?) to help the student up or help them in any way? Instead of just asking if they're okay.

Asked by Kayla over 1 year ago

Most of the time if a student slips and falls while getting off the bus, they are usually up and going by the time we would have secured the bus, unbuckled our seatbelts and gotten out of our seats. We ask if they are okay in case they really are not okay and are more seriously injured. If that's the case, we will go the extra mile and help them up or call for assistance. In my district, we are required to write up any incidents of injury or potential injury so that if there is a further problem, it is on record. Of course safety is number one priority so we teach our students to use the hand rails while stepping off the bus.

Is there a policy stating anything about taking your grandchild on the bus if they are registered in another school district?

Asked by Sbienz over 1 year ago

That issue is usually left up to individual districts. Some districts allow drivers to take their very young children (in a car seat) sometimes on the bus. This applies to grandchildren too. Others have strict policies about what students and children can and cannot be on the bus. I believe it depends on a case by case basis and is determined by the district in which a driver works. In my district, the policy is usually school age only children allowed on the bus (pre-k thru 18) however the rules have been known to be bent a bit to help accommodate a special situation such as someone lacking childcare for a particular child. As long as it is cleared by the boss and is not causing a problem for other people, then it is generally allowed.

do the kids have to sit where you want them too

Asked by Jacob over 1 year ago

Bus drivers have the right to assign seats to kids. That includes everyone from pre-school to high school. The way it works on my bus, the elementary have assigned seats. From pre-k through grade 5, they are assigned a certain seat. After that they have the freedom to pick a seat but must stay seated and follow all the bus rules. Failure to follow the rules, acting out, and being unruly will get an older child to be treated like my younger group. Some districts require assigned seats regardless of age of the child. This is to help first responders when there is a bus wreck. We don't do it to be mean or obnoxious, though if you act out, we may retaliate in response by putting you with a child that is significantly younger than you to show you how to behave. If you have a preferred seat or section or have a certain friend or two you want to sit beside, let the bus driver know. Most drivers will try to accommodate you.

Can a bus driver let a kid stand by the bus driver where their is no seats

Asked by Shelby Hay over 1 year ago

Technically and legally, no, though I have had kids come up and ask me a few questions. If its more than one question I usually have them sit in the front seat or I ask that they tell me at a stop instead.

Can a bus driver let students from another school on the bus?

Asked by Zyria Smith over 1 year ago

That depends on a case by case basis. It may be that the driver was asked to cover another area and school and is having to make adjustments accordingly. All too often where we pick up and who we pick up is determined by the school system itself.

Yesterday I left something very important on my school bus, today my school is closed and I need that item for Sunday, I do not know who to call or who to contact. Please help.

Asked by Trisha over 1 year ago

You can try calling the bus shop or the board of education to try to get the bus yard number. If you can get ahold of somebody there, then great. Other than that, unfortunately, you'll have to wait until Monday to get the item.

I am a newly hired substitute driver and often assigned to unfamiliar roads (and buses). What is some advice for a smooth trip to and from school? Especially elementary-age kids who may not know their stops? What about maintaining schedule?

Asked by Ceejayty 12 months ago

1. Get a route description. Most companies will have these available to substitute drivers. The description will notate the stops and times for each stop.

2. Most kids are more than willing to help you find your way. Ask them. Don't hesitate to let them tell you where to go.

3. If the kids aren't at their stops in the mornings, you have no fault in the situation. They know to be there 5-10 minutes ahead of time and to be waiting on you. In the afternoons the schedule is a little more flexible in getting the kids home. Take your time and eventually they all get off the bus!

4. Don't sweat the little things. The kids are going to turn around in the seat and talk. As long as the noise is not distracting and at a reasonable level and as long as they are staying in their seats, let the kids be kids.

Today my bus driver made me get off the bus against my will because I spat gum a sombody who was annoying me. Is it illegal for her to make me get off the bus (not at my regular stop) Against my will?

Asked by Jake over 1 year ago

In my district, we are allowed to put children off at two places. 1. that child's regular stop, and 2. at any school within the district up to and including district school board offices and the bus barn itself. As for you spitting gum at somebody, did you consider the ramifications of your actions? First, who is going to clean up the gum, which by now has probably stuck to the seat or to the floor and been walked on? Second, is throwing or spitting something at someone a way to solve a problem? Third, if you are having a problem with somebody, please, feel free to tell the driver so that the driver can make adjustments. That being said, while its NOT illegal, it may be against policy.

What is the consequence for a bus driver if they've made unscheduled stops for personal business...such as stopping at their bank and taking the students inside with them?

Asked by Marie 11 months ago

That's a bit dicey. It is frowned upon for us to do personal business in the bus in general. That isn't to say that we aren't allowed to make stops at a grocery store or Walmart for one reason or another as long as we do not abuse the privilege. What you may have witnessed too is a class field trip to a bank that may have been pre-planned for a teacher and students. Don't be so quick to judge as there may have been many reasons for a bus to be stopping at a local business for one reason or another. Keep in mind we often have second jobs and we get permission to park our buses at one location or another that is not on school property. If you are concerned about seeing a bus making repeated stops at a location, a phone call to the bus yard may clarify the situation and allow the proper authorities to be notified of any ill behavior.

Can 6-10 yr olds stand up right by the window where the bus driver is while driving?

Asked by Shelby Hey over 1 year ago

As i said before, we prefer not.

Bus driver grabed my child by back pack and shoved her into a seat she is in preschool, is this against regulations?

Asked by Dad 12 months ago

In general, it is frowned upon to put your hands on a child. That being said I have grabbed onto kids to stop them from hurting themselves. For example if a 5 year old gets out of the bus seat before their stop and my foot is on the brake, the bus will brake faster than the kid realizes and I often put my hand out to stop them from sliding into or hitting the windshield of the bus. If your child won't sit down, I will stop my bus until the child sits as they should. I may take them by the hand and lead them to the seat and ask them to sit down but I would never forcefully move them or cause them to get harmed in the process. If a child will not slide to the window to make room for other students, I will generally speak to that child's parent first. With many little kids, less is more. The more direct you can be in your expectations and less intimidating, the more likely they are going to listen and obey. That being said if the driver did put his or her hands on your child or child's belongings, ask the bus yard to pull the video tape and review the drivers actions.

Is it ok for parents to record the bus driver with her phone every time she arrives at bus stops without the bus drivers permission?

Asked by Tanner about 1 year ago

Well given that most bus stops are in public places, I would venture to say that recording is okay. However that being said, there may be some legality reasons why you should not record anything involving other people's children. Best to check with your local laws.

7th - I finished my food before I got on the bus and put it behind me but the 6th graders found it, put it on the floor and yelled I was eating on the bus. Now I have to sit up front with the little kids for a week. How can I tell her I wasn't eating

Asked by Emma 11 months ago

Talk to your bus driver and be honest with her. Also, if you had trash on the bus, it might have solved issues if you simply put the trash in the trash can instead of behind you in the seat. That could lead to you forgetting to take it with you when you get off the bus and throwing it away properly. Additionally, a week with the little kids isn't as bad as it seems. Sometimes its easier to just accept a consequence, remembering to throw the trash away in the trash can instead of leaving it or putting it on the seat for others to find, and moving on.

On my bus there is a person that always sits on the bus in the first seat on the door side. They're older and they are always on the bus. Why?

Asked by MacKenzie over 1 year ago

They could be a monitor or a new driver learning the route. If they have been there year round then I'd lean towards monitor or driver helper. If not, then it might be a new driver who has been told they need to learn every route in the district. Another possibility might be the driver could be being evaluated for a promotion or other work related things.

My son is 5. His first day of riding the bus was this past Friday. He and his siblings informed me that the bus driver stopped on a dirt road and let him off alone to use the restroom behind a tree. Is this legal?

Asked by Elici about 1 year ago

Depending on the area in which you live and the desperation of your child to use the bathroom would be the determining factor for whether or not the right decision was made. When possible here, we will make accommodations for a child to use an actual restroom, but sometimes on country routes, there are not bathrooms available readily. If your child was desperate enough to where he could not wait till he got home or risked embarrassment in wetting his pants, the bus driver probably thought it might be easier to just let him off and have him go behind a tree right quick. If you take issue with this, then bring it to the bus drivers attention and talk to the bus supervisors.

Hi...I was just wondering if, in your experience, the bus routes are set up so that, to the extent possible, it's
"first on" (in the AM) and "first off" (in the PM)? Thanks!

Asked by BostonTerrier about 1 year ago

It depends on the area. Some bus drivers drive the routes the same way in the evening that they do in the morning, therefore that first on first off philosophy works, but then there are some drivers who reverse their entire route in the evening so that first on is often last off. This is usually due to the area in question. For example, if a student lives 20 minutes outside of town and there are some students on the bus that live directly in town, the bus will often drop off those in town students before the bus makes its way out of town to drop off that one student. My bus route is a little complicated as I make two runs in the morning and two runs in the afternoon. All of my runs are set up to make sense for the geography of the area and to maximize the time efficiently while serving the most amount of students. Because my highschool is on one side of town and my middle school is on the other side of town (my elementary is in the middle) I often will drop off students on my way to one or the other schools or pick them up in the morning depending on number of kids and whatnot.

What is needed to become a bus driver? Written test are a must. What are the components of the driving part of the test?

Asked by Brian about 1 year ago

In most states and federally speaking a CDL class B license with Passenger and School Bus endorsements is needed (for driving a school bus specifically - I am unsure about Greyhound type buses). Most bus companies will host training classes which will give you the needed skills and experience to obtain the job. The written part is standard and the usual for every state. The driving parts of the test vary by the examiner that gives the test.

I live in the paramount school district and i got my first write up what's going to happen?

Asked by kamara 8 months ago

That all depends on the reason for the write up and your individual schools policy on write ups coming from bus drivers. In my district, administrators are supposed to follow a policy that goes something like this:

1st write up: warning2nd write up: 1-3 days off the bus depending on offense3rd write up: 3-5 days off the bus4th write up: 5-10 days off the bus5th write up: 10 days off or permanent removal from bus riding privilege for at least the remainder of the school year.6th write up: Permanent removal of bus riding privilege for at least the remainder of the school year.

In many instances they don't follow this policy like they should and issue far too many warnings, but if they follow it like they should, we would have less behavior issues on our buses. Chances are good you will only get a warning. I recommend to all kids who get write ups that they better their chances with the bus driver if they verbally apologize for their behavior and perhaps even write a letter of apology to the bus driver or their fellow students depending on what the situation was. An apology goes a long way with me when it comes to my bus kids. If you have the guts to apologize for your behavior, I am actually LESS likely to follow through and submit the write up to the school because you showed me that you are willing to accept consequences for your actions. (In those cases I usually ask the student to sit in the front seat for a period of time and then at the end give them the write up to tear up or dispose of to drive home the point that they should behave) I suggest you get on the bus tomorrow morning and apologize to the bus driver and own up to your actions. That speaks volumes. Good luck!

My bus driver is writing me up because my foot was in the isle and a girl almosted tripped. What if I go on the bus?

Asked by Tony 12 months ago

Sorry for the delay in response, Hurricane Matthew knocked me for a loop. As far as writing you up, has the bus driver warned you about it before? If so have you consistently put your foot in the aisle when told not to? Maybe you could apologize to the girl and the bus driver and ask for a second chance.

Hi! I'm in a year-round school, and my bus driver assigned seats. Problem is, when the tracks track in and out, some seats are empty but the one i'm in has four people in them (all 8th grade). We tried talking to the bus driver but he won't help.

Asked by Carly 8 months ago

Are all 4 of you trying to cram into one seat at once? If this is the case then I can see your frustration. Can you ask him if he means rows of seats instead of just a single seat? If he means rows of seats then a row of seats can fit 4 people (two on each side). Also, if there are four kids in one seat that are near high school age I would have a hard time cramming those kids in that one single seat. Maybe you can get your parents to discuss the issue with the bus driver?

An example of where I use location of students to my benefit is on my run. I have one seat where I have 5 students assigned to that single seat. Two are middle schoolers, one is a high schooler and 2 are elementary kids that are kindergarten and 2nd grade. The middle school rides the first run and the high schooler and two elementary get on in the second run. The only reason why I have the two elementary with the high schooler is because they are her little cousins and she can squeeze next to them easily without creating an issue. I also don't mind if there is a spare seat that they adjust accordingly and let the little kid sit with someone else as long as there is space available.

Good luck

What to do if you tear apart a bus drivers seat?

Asked by Chris 10 months ago

Own up to it, offer to pay for the damages, and apologize. Also don't damage other peoples stuff.

If bus have stop sign out is it ok to drive straight perpendicular, so technically you won't be passing bus

Asked by Lisa about 1 year ago

If the bus is at an intersection letting off children, the best thing to do is simply sit and wait until the bus clears the area. When in doubt, stop. You don't want to be responsible for the death of a child because you thought you could drive around the bus.

Is it illegal for a bus driver to drive with their interior lights on, and are bus drivers allowed to get out of their seats?

Asked by Meredith 11 months ago

No, I use my interior lights in the mornings so that I can keep an eye on my kids. Having kids of both genders on the bus in the dark can lead to questionable circumstances, so to prevent problems, its easier to drive with the lights on. Yes, we can get out of our seats if the bus is parked and secure.

Our school buses have been overcrowded this week (first week of school), having 3 middle schoolers to a seat and even more standing in the aisle. What should bus drivers do in that situation?

Asked by BB about 1 year ago

Well given we are experiencing overcrowding ourselves here due to lack of drivers available, I welcome you to contact your local bus shop and go through the class to become a bus driver. Then and only then will the route be split up so that overcrowding can be alleviated. Otherwise (and this sounds harsh) drive your own kid or squeeze in a seat. If the overcrowding does continue you can call the bus yard to see if there are alternative options as well.

If a student ever asked you to open the door at a stop, would you do it?

Asked by Sam about 1 year ago

It would depend on the situation. We are not allowed to let children off at undesignated areas unless previously being notified to. If the student simply wanted to get off the bus randomly, the answer would likely be no unless there is a safety issue at hand.

My friend got kicked off the bus for having a scateboord

Asked by Mad friend 7 months ago

Are you sure that's the only reason they got kicked off the bus? There may have been other reasons for your friend to be denied riding the bus that you are not privileged enough to hear about. A little more information can help me answer this.

Do you know how old the oldest bus in your Fleet is

Asked by Henry 8 months ago

Honestly I don't. I do know they retire the buses after so many years or after they rack up so many driven miles due to safety concerns. Plus older buses do not have as many of the safety features that newer buses have. Child check lights, taller seats for better compartmentalization, less overhead hazards... etc.

Do bus companies allow you to bring your child on the bus

Asked by Kim 9 months ago

It depends on the districts policy on the matter. Check with your district.

How fast can a school bus go

Asked by Jayda 8 months ago

Legally speaking federal speed limit for school buses is 55 mph.

What do you do when a student leaves something on the bus and do you check the cameras to see if someone stole a lost item?

Asked by Ezethral about 1 year ago

The easiest thing to do is call the bus barn to let them know of a missing item. The driver can then search the bus. If the item is missing from the bus, then its likely someone picked it up. If that is the case you can ask to see if they can pull the cameras to see who did it but more often than not the cameras wont pick up much if a kid is being sneaky. Good luck.

I'm a Mad 13 year old old boy. I was literally just a second ago drove by with no stop or hesitation by a bus driver, she drive down my steep hill. Is it legal what she did by not stopping at all for when I was walking up to the bus stop.

Asked by MadKid6969 11 months ago

Were you at your designated stop on time and ready for the bus driver to pick you up? If you were and she did not stop then there may have been a substitute bus driver who did not know the route and stops on the bus route very well. We make mistakes. The best thing for you to do in that situation is go home and ask your parents to call the bus yard or school and see if they can send the bus back to get you or have them drive you to school and call in to the bus yard to find out what happened.

can a bus driver be a babysitter

Asked by carlos perez 11 months ago

That would depend on what you mean. If you intend on using the bus as free child care, NO. Your children need to be dropped off and picked up at their designated stop times in the mornings and the afternoons. Exceptions can be made if you are running late or emergencies occur (we understand when things are out of your control) but we prefer things like these don't become a habit. It's not fair to your children or the other children on the bus. If you know of a neighbor or friend of yours that is a bus driver and you want to ask them to babysit your children in their off times, then that falls under the category of personal friendship/relationships and is outside the realm of professional bus duties. For example, I transport my friends 3 teenage children. They often need help with homework so I will go over to their house after my bus route to help them. This is because we are friends outside of my job not because we became friends THROUGH my job, though the same or similar scenario can occur.

My kids bus drove by with out stopping...ain't they supposed to stop or can they just drive by with out stopping it's happened a few times.

Asked by Deanna 8 months ago

Are your kids standing out at the stop 5-10 minutes ahead of time for the bus driver to see them? There may have been a substitute on the bus and not every substitute knows every stop and most rely on students being out at their designated stops on time. If your children have been told multiple times to be out on time ready and waiting and they were not, then I have no sympathy. That being said our policy in our district is that we go by every stop and at least look to see if the kids are at each stop. On colder mornings or mornings where rain is a concern, I don't mind waiting an extra minute for kids to come from the house but generally the kids need to be out and ready and waiting on the bus.

Recently my daughter's bus driver has been pulling over and waiting for five minutes on the side of the road whenever the kids are "misbehaving" and this is becoming a real problem because my daughter has after school activities. Can he do that?

Asked by Karaomo 11 months ago

Yes. For safety reasons, we can pull the bus over if it is unsafe to continue to drive the bus while the kids are otherwise distracting the driver. Consider this, if you are driving down the road and you have 45 children sitting behind you being rowdy, throwing stuff out the window, being a hazard to other drivers on the road, shouting and screaming, and otherwise distracting you from hearing an ambulance that just ran a red light because of an emergency and struck the bus because you couldn't hear it due to the confusion.... would you rather the bus driver have pulled over and waited five minutes and your child be alive instead of in an accident? If this is becoming more of an issue, I suggest you find alternate transportation for your child.

Do you have any advice for driving a school bus in the snow?

Asked by Kim 10 months ago

Take your time. Use your training. Most companies will have policies put in place for snow driving. This may include putting on snow tires or snow chains on the tires to help with traction, using lower gears, or reduced speeds in general. I live in the south, but I grew up in the northeast New England area and just like any region, driving in inclement weather, whether it be rain, snow, ice, wind, or fog, must be done with an abundance of caution especially when transporting children to and from school. Good luck!

Is it common for ups drivers to drive through the buses red lights

Asked by dave 8 months ago

If the bus has the stop sign out and the lights flashing for the love of GOD and all the kids out there that don't want to die... STOP YOUR VEHICLE! If you are not sure STOP YOUR VEHICLE! If you think there might be a problem and sheep fall out of the sky STOP YOUR VEHICLE!

That being said there are very few areas where a driver is allowed to run a school bus red lights and they vary by state to state. Check with your local state laws but when in doubt STOP!

For the safety of the kids!!

If you are a driver can you bring your kid on the bus with you in the morning? Or is there an age limit on who can be on a bus?

Asked by Brittany Carver 10 months ago

That depends on your district's policy on the matter. In my district as long as they are school age and registered in the school system, the bus drivers can bring their own children on the buses with them. This is also dependent on special circumstances as determined by the boss. Many drivers have children that are very young but also have children that are school age. Often bosses will make the personal call to allow a driver to bring a child that is not registered to the school system on the bus provided the child can behave properly or is properly seat belted or restrained in a manner such as a car seat that will allow the bus driver to still effectively do his or her job while having their children on board. My district also allows drivers to make certain allowances for friends provided it doesn't inconvenience the children on board the bus as a general rule of thumb.

For example, I was allowed to transport my friends three children. My friend lived a block from my bus route and I was allowed to deviate my route by one block to accommodate my friend as approved by my boss. The inconvenience to my bus children was minimal as it meant I only went down one street further up and the time difference was negligible (a matter of 30 seconds to add an additional stop). Did my boss have to make this accommodation? No, but he allowed it because he did not see a reason to deny a favor that I was doing for a friend.

I get ur response but the bus driver can't see intill she stops because she coming up a hill and there a big tree in the way pluses my Brock down vehicle she wouldn't be able to see them til she passed my vehicle witch at that point she shouldbestope

Asked by Deanna 8 months ago

Are your children in your vehicle or are they standing at the stop? Its not clear as to where your children were this morning while waiting for the bus. That being said, it doesn't change the fact that it could have been a substitute bus driver that doesn't know the route very well. If there is a visibility issue then you definitely need to take that up with the school district or be standing out there with your children with a flash light to maybe flag the driver down if visibility is an issue. Perhaps installing a street light or lamp might illuminate the situation and make it clear if your children were standing at the stop. Either way you should probably contact the district to talk to them about it and address your complaints.

Hello, Me again.mOkay so around 22 hours ago a Child around my age died from a bus tipping over at my school. What happens to the Bus Driver? Does the Driver have to pay a fine, get sued or fired, what?

Asked by MadKid6969 9 months ago

Chances are good if the driver was at fault for the accident, the driver will be arrested and charged with negligence. That is entirely up to the police and investigating officers. Accidents happen and sometimes they are preventable. The real question is whether the driver was at fault or not. Just like anyone else that has been in an accident the person is entitled to a fair trial in accordance with the laws.

What are my daughters rights as far as getting to school on time? My daughter is a special needs child. She needs extra time to prepare in school. The bus driver gets her to school late almost every day. What can I do? They don't help.

Asked by Denise 8 months ago

Is your daughter riding a regular education school bus? You can request special education school bus transportation for your child to be written into your child's IEP or 504 plan. If your child already has a 504 and an IEP in place then modifications to those must be made before any district will make any changes or concessions. Get those in place and the district should help you at least fight that battle of getting your child to school on time. That being said, riding the bus is a privilege not a right and therefore it is something that most districts provide because many parents do not have other options for their children to get to school. If your child needs extra time to prepare to be in school I do suggest that you look into alternatives such as driving her yourself in the morning times so that it is not as stressful if the other options do not work.

Is it against a rule or law to get out of the drivers seat when the bus is parked and running, to assist children both in and off the bus. There are adults and children on the bus.

Asked by Joan 8 months ago

Short answer, no. Long answer, that depends on your districts policy on the matter. As long as the bus is secured and the children are well supervised then you can get out of the drivers seat to assist children.

While the kids are on break,do the bus driver still work or get paid

Asked by Tanisha 9 months ago

That depends on the local bus depot and district contracts. In my district we get paid year round so even through the summer we get a paycheck. It often means our monthly pay is lower than normal than if we were to only get paid for the months we actually work but it balances out because then we aren't left without pay during the times when school is out. Pay is often low enough that drivers have to take on second and third jobs just to support their families.

I've noticed that school busses in ohio never really pull into an apt. Complex and holds up traffic. I don't really mind waiting it takes less than a minute, I'm just curious. But is there a law or policy that they buses can't pull in because it's

Asked by PC 7 months ago

Sometimes apartment complexes are too small for a bus to maneuver safely in and out of without risk of hitting vehicles or other obstacles. There may also be apartment complex rules and regulations forbidding heavy vehicles from entering or exiting the complex except in special circumstances (fire trucks/ambulances etc). There may also be a law forbidding school buses in certain counties from performing backing up while students are on board. When backing a school bus, the students are at greatest risk of getting injured or killed because the driver is largely depending on a set of mirrors and praying that no one is behind them or pulled a stupid move to block their path. I would look up your local ordinances on school buses and see if that helps?

what if u have a small child that needs to go to school but u dont have that route

Asked by kelly 7 months ago

Speak to your supervisor about it. They may make exceptions or allow you to deviate from the route you have to take your child to and from school. There is always a way to work it out.

after i get let out of school my bus driver is often not on the bus;my peers n i have to wait til she arrives n yells at us when we open the door without her can she get in trouble for this? if so please give me a cite to where it clearly states so

Asked by a person 7 months ago

I have to say I side with the bus driver on this one to be honest. It is our policy that no students get on any buses when the buses are unattended by an adult. She is right to reprimand you and your fellow students for opening the door and getting on the bus without her there. If an administrator or school official told you to get on the bus without her there then you do have the right to complain and let her know that the administrator told you to get on the bus without her there. Simply taking it upon yourselves to enter the bus without the driver is not okay though. If there is another adult besides the driver telling you to get on the bus without the driver there then I would approach the driver and let her know politely whats going on so she can address it with the school as per the policy of the district.

How far does the 2 way radio reach?

Asked by Antuony 7 months ago

It depends on a lot of factors. Bus to bus... probably a couple miles if we're travelling on a trip and get separated and stuff like that. In town with the tower it can reach from the county line and beyond, though the further from the tower the bus is the signal deteriorates.

Im planning on retiring soon and was thinking about being a driver.I know they usually work split shifts ,one in the morning and one in the evening,Im wanting to work just a morning shift and not in the evening,is this possible?

Asked by robert 3 months ago

That would depend on the company you want to work for. Talk to the supervisor and ask them. Good luck!

Can a bus driver try to decide the order people get on a bus

Asked by Tristen 6 months ago

It depends on where you are referring to. If you mean stop order in the morning, yes, most drivers have control over that. We also have control over whether or not someone sits with another person through assigned seating. When it comes to loading at schools, we can't control who gets on the bus first but again we can control where people sit through assigned seats.

If I go to the bathroom and the bus driver closes the doors but I am there can she refuse to let me on

Asked by Jacob Thacker 4 months ago

Did you get off the bus to use the bathroom and did you let the driver know where you were going or ask the driver if you could use the bathroom? If she let you off to use the bathroom and you returned expecting to get back on then you should have been let back on. If you assumed she would let you back on without notifying her then how would she have known where you were if you were either not on the bus to begin with or there on time when she was to pull off from school grounds? Typically if a student asks me if they can use the restroom, I let them provided its not too soon to their destination/school or a reasonable time to ask them to wait (5-15 minute time frame) I also take into consideration the age of the child and where their bus stop falls on my route. If they are my last stop, I will often let them use it more often than my first stop as that child is usually on the bus for 45 minutes to 60 minutes as opposed to only 10 to 15 minutes average.

Can a person be a School Bus Driver if they have had an accident in the past year? The accident was their fault

Asked by Chuck 5 months ago

Hi Chuck! Sorry for the delay in response. It would depend on what the accident involved. I can't speak for most bus companies but many of them go on a case by case basis. Most require a 5-7 year MVR history regardless of whether or not there was any offenses in that time. If you are disqualified from driving, you will be notified then. Good luck!

Can I see my son on video recording on the school bus that he got kick off (picking on him)

Asked by Dean 4 months ago

That would depend on school district policy. If your child got kicked off the bus you can demand that the video be reviewed, but you may not be allowed to view it yourself because of the privacy of other students on the bus. What happens is that many parents will see a video and focus on the behavior of other kids on the bus instead of the behavior of their own child. That being said, if you feel your son is being wrongfully accused then you do need to ask them to follow up and pull the video tape to clear your child's name.

Can a bus driver really hold me on a bus at my stop?

Asked by High schooler 5 months ago

If there is a safety reason for the hold, then yes we can hold you on the bus. Think of it this way, if there is an oncoming car and the car is not stopping and you have to cross the road, would you rather get hit by a car or held on the bus a little bit longer for your safety. Alternatively if there is a crazy person outside the bus with a gun or a knife would you want the bus driver to protect you, or simply let you off at the stop?

I life my fidget spinner on the bus I need it back in the morning I ride 260 to hunter middle school my fidget spinner color is pink and orange

Asked by Sarah gann 4 months ago

Your best bet is to ask your morning bus driver. Good luck. Also don't annoy your teachers or bus driver with the spinner. I love them if they are used properly. I may stock up on them this summer and hand them out as prizes next year.

Hi, I was wondering if it would be appropriate to ask my bus driver out on a date. They're a city bus driver, though, not like a school bus driver or anything. They wouldn't get fired for accepting would they?

Asked by Ella 4 months ago

Sorry I was on vacation when you asked this. I would probably steer clear of asking out on a date unless you are over the age of 18.

Is it common for UPS trucks to drive through the busses
lights

Asked by Dave 3 months ago

Its common for many vehicles to run through buses lights when they are activated. It is still illegal and the bus driver has every right to turn the drivers in to the authorities. Many states have strict fines against running the lights.

I live in New York State and the bus driver said parents are not allowed on the bus at all. I can't find anything in the schools handbook or policy or any law pertaining to it. Is this a common thing bus drivers tell parents to keep them off the bus?

Asked by Smileys 3 months ago

http://neatoday.org/2013/11/05/bus-drivers-work-to-strengthen-trespassing-laws-on-school-buses/

Basically, a parent stepping up onto the bus uninvited can be considered trespassing or unauthorized and can put students lives in jeopardy. We go through background checks in order to work with students and transport them. Consider this, would you like a random person to step up on your child's bus while the bus was at a different stop? What if that person had a gun or a negative motive to harm children. Point is, we take all precautions to protect the kids on our buses at all costs and if that means asking a parent to stay off the bus, then we do what we have to do. That being said, if I have a sleeping pre-school age child and the child is not wanting to wake up and voluntarily walk off the bus, I will also allow his/her parent to come and get the child, but usually the child is in the front seat to where the parent does not need to go further back in the bus and I will usually place myself between the seats so that the parent can only go as far as their child only.

Can the bus driver drive 10 mph on a 40 mph road (it allready takes 40 minutes to go home driving at 40) or skip a whole neiborhood because a couple kids who live there cause trouble on the bus and is there a legal time kids have to be home by

Asked by Julie about 1 month ago

If the bus is making multiple stops on that 40 mph road then the bus may not have time to get up to speed and is travelling slower than the speed limit on that road. That being said if the bus is being unsafe and you have a concern, call it in to the bus company and report it. As far as skipping a neighborhood or designing a route, it also depends on what the bus company's policy is for allowing drivers leniency in designing routes. My district allows the bus driver to decide how the route will be driven and what stops in what order in order to best facilitate getting the kids home as quickly and as safely as possible. Check with your local district.

How do substitute drivers know what the route is? I'm assuming they don't memorize dozens of routes.

Asked by Bob about 1 month ago

Many districts require the regular drivers to provide a route description for substitute drivers. This is not always the case. Sometimes districts rely on computerized route descriptions for substitute drivers. These can be accurate or inaccurate depending on the driver of the route or the actual stops involved in the route. When I was a substitute I found it easier for me to memorize certain routes because the drivers would often be absent or not there because they were doing a trip or otherwise occupied .

When approaching railroad tracks, is it the law the requires you to stop on the right side of the road or it suggested?

Asked by DQuestion 14 days ago

If I remember correctly, it is a law that buses should be on the right hand side of the road on a 4 lane highway if they have to stop at a railroad crossing. This is two fold. One it is safer for kids in general as most people in the USA pass on the left so faster traffic will automatically go around on the left, and two, should the bus become disabled at any point the door is on the right hand side so evacuation of the bus will be easier than having to stop traffic to let kids exit the bus in an emergency on the tracks.

My daughter in 5 grade and wants to seat alone. However the bus driver makes her to seat with other kids. There is plenty of empty seats and she needs to make homework while riding. Is he has the authority to do it?

Asked by Iryna ifedorovska@yahoo.com 8 days ago

The bus driver has the authority to assign seats as he or she sees fit so yes they have the authority to assign seats. As for your daughters desire to sit alone, it could be that there is plenty of room when she gets on or off the bus, but there may not be room as the route progresses. You also don't know if there are other kids who get on or off before or after your daughter that take up the spare seats. It is not always practical to have a kid sitting by themselves. Additionally homework should be done at home, not on the bus.

If it is a main road..no sidewalks does the drive HAVE yo drop chilsren (kindergarden & 1st graders) in front of home?? (She did last year and this year she said shes trying to stop fewer times because kids live very close.

Asked by Jaclyn 7 days ago

It varies state to state on what guidelines a bus driver must follow when designating stops. http://guide.saferoutesinfo.org/school_bus_locations/examples.cfm

The previous link provided will give examples of these statutes for a few different states, but generally if the children live close to each other (within reasonable walking distance to where they could meet in the middle at a neutral stop) the bus driver is authorized to make changes to the route according to individual district policies. Basically there needs to be enough warning for drivers on the road to stop between stops with adequate time for the safety of all the students on board and off the bus.

is there laws for what a driver can and cant do? ie: i have to get out of my seat to place a seat belt on a child...i place the bus in N and lock the brake, my stop sign is out

Asked by new boss 3 days ago

It depends on your districts policies and your job description. Various companies require bus drivers to do different tasks according to state laws and requirements. It also depends on the type of bus it is. For example, regular education buses here in my district do not have seat belts on the bus, but the special needs buses are all equipped with seat belts. Because of this, the special needs buses have monitors on the bus that are required to assist children to and from their seats and ensure that they are properly belted in and secured on the bus. This is for their safety as well as the safety of others on the bus. In other districts, regular education buses have seat belts and it is up to each district's individual policies on enforcement of wearing the belts. Some districts even require their drivers to get out of the bus and assist children in crossing the road by holding up a hand held stop sign. Bottom line, it is all about safety for the kids we transport every day!