National News

Bus drivers hard at work keeping your kids safe on the school bus

Posted August 18

— Bus drivers start each day before the sun comes up to make sure they can get out the door and pick up your child on time and take them to school safely.

Each morning, fleets of school buses take off like a well-oiled machine. Drivers like Manny Contreras start their day with a safety inspection.

"Before I take off, I have to make sure everything is running in proper condition. I start with the lights," he said.

Contreras searches from front to back, following a checklist to make sure everything is working the way it should. Safety comes first, then speed. Every second counts toward taking children to school in time for the 8 a.m. bell.

"I always tell drivers, 'You have to think about the kids at home. They're standing out waiting, so you have to be on time,'" assistant manager Michael Narcisse said.

That means the drivers need to be on time from the moment they wake up.

"I wake up at 3 or 4 a.m., get a cup of coffee, get going," Patricia Germany said.

Germany has been driving for 23 years. She also trains new drivers. She says the beginning of the school year is always the most hectic. The first few days set the pace for the rest of the semester...

"It's all about getting the drivers in, finding out what equipment they need," she said.

With good preparation, maintenance and training, the buses make it to your child's door on time with a friendly face to greet them.

"You always start off with a, 'Good morning!' That gets anyone's day going. I would want a bus driver to talk the way I talk to my kids," Contreras said.

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