Saturday, 22 June 2024

Remember to say thanks on 'School Bus Drivers Day' Tuesday

SACRAMENTO – On the occasion of “School Bus Driver Day,” the California Highway Patrol (CHP) is taking the opportunity to thank the dedicated school bus drivers for their commitment to safely transporting the state’s schoolchildren.

Each year the State Assembly recognizes the invaluable service provided by school bus drivers throughout California, and this year has designated the fourth Tuesday in April – April 27 – as “School Bus Driver Day.”

The safety of children often rests in the hands of trained school bus drivers for a couple of hours each day. The CHP provides initial driver training to school bus drivers who must also maintain educational requirements about current licensing, skills and knowledge.

The CHP also stringently tests all drivers on bus driving skills, equipment and mechanical aspects of their bus.

“School bus drivers are unsung heroes who are entrusted with the safety of our children on a daily basis,” said CHP Commissioner Joe Farrow. “Please be sure to thank these individuals if you or your child benefits from their services.”

Because of the nature of their passengers, school buses are strictly regulated with the state, not only for the pupils’ safety, but for the public’s safety as well.

School bus drivers must learn how to inspect a school bus and make sure that all equipment works. Drivers need to demonstrate an awareness of routes and mechanical and safety conditions.

Officer Mike Humble of the Clear Lake CHP office is the local school bus safety officer.

He estimated that there are about 40 school bus drivers in Lake County.

Humble said school bus drivers are the mostly highly regulated drivers on California's roads.

“They are specifically tested every five years,” Humble said. “They have to go through the whole process over again,” just like when they first received their certification.

In addition, Humble said school bus drivers have ongoing requirements, such as first aid and rules of the road on which they need to keep current.

“Our safety records is very good,” said Humble.

He added, “There are still collisions that occur.”

The goal is to help school bus drivers be as safe as possible, Humble said.

Each school district has its own transportation supervisor, who conducts training, keeps records current and monitors certain programs, Humble said. “Most of them are school bus drivers, too.”

Humble said he has safety meetings with local drivers, who train constantly.

Besides being drivers, they're often part-time counselors, mentors and friends to the children they transport, Humble said.

Some school districts participate in “School bus rodeos.” Drivers maneuver through a course and receive a grade for their performance. California’s school bus drivers are credited with thousands of accident-free miles every year.

School bus drivers can face many hazards while driving. They may assist students in learning, counsel them and may use discipline. Drivers consistently demonstrate patience and kindness toward students, parents and school staff while performing their duties.

The CHP encourages people young and old alike to recognize their school bus drivers for their continued and excellent services to the youth of California.

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