Tuesday, 28 May 2024

CHP marks School Bus Driver Appreciation Week with honors for local drivers

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Pictured from left to right: Officer Mike Humble, Diana Dittman, Linda Morton, Marilyn Wafford, Wendy Ferrell, Wayne Forrest, Barbara Sears, Mike Paselk, Deborah Bussear, Tommy Peralta, Cathrine Smith, Cathrine Noel-Repetski, Sally Lalonde and Deanna Jones. Photo courtesy of CHP Officer Adam Garcia.




LAKE COUNTY – On Monday the California Highway Patrol's Clear Lake Area Office congratulated and gave thanks to the school bus drivers of Lake County during School Bus Driver Appreciation Week, Oct. 20 through 24.


CHP Officer Adam Garcia said the following Lake County school bus drivers are part of a club of individuals with 100,000 or more safe miles behind the wheel: Cheryl Alvord-Smart, Glenn Courtney, Jennifer Campbell, Diana Dittman, Linda Morton, Marilyn Wafford, Wendy Ferrell, Wayne Forrest, Barbara Sears, Mike Paselk, Deborah Bussear, Tommy Peralta, Catherine Smith, Catharine Noel-Repetski, Sally Lalonde, Thomas Aragon and Deanna Jones.


“It is only fitting that we honor these drivers that get our children to school and back home each and every day safely,” Clear Lake CHP School Bus Safety Officer Mike Humble said. “Their hard work and dedication exemplifies true professionalism. “


The yellow school bus has been an essential part of public education as we know it. It is a part of the fabric of the American institution, and is an important part of the very foundation of how we educate our children.


In California there has been developed a system that has proven to be the safest form of transportation in the world. The state has the strictest regulations relating to the construction and use of the school bus and the education and training of drivers.


According to the National Academy of Sciences, the US Department of Transportation and other authorities agree that school buses are the safest form of transportation for getting children to and from school. Riding in a school bus is much safer than using any other form of transportation – including personal vehicles, railroad and airline travel.


The Transportation Research Board, part of the National Academy of Sciences, reports that a child is 13 times safer in a school bus than in other modes of travel. Children driving to school or riding with other teenage drivers are 44 times more likely to be killed than in a school bus.


All school bus drivers must successfully complete 20 hours of classroom training and 20 hours of behind the wheel training. Then they must pass all testing requirements at the DMV and CHP to obtain a California special driving certificate.


In addition, state law requires each driver to hold a valid first aid certificate from the American Red Cross, pass a drug test, physical examination and obtain background clearance from the California Department of Justice.


All school bus drivers must also continue their training by completing 10 hours of instruction each year.


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