Back to school for kids means new teachers, new school supplies, and a brand-new list of things to learn. For a new school bus driver, it means a brand-new year of taking kids to and from school and home. As a brand-new bus driver, you will need to memorize your route and memorize the faces of the kids and parents who will be along the route. Safety is the most important thing as a new bus driver, so it is important to get a handle on proper safety measures before the first day of school. Here are some ways to practice safety for your new school bus route.
1. Practice driving along the route
After you receive your commercial driving license and approval from the school board, you will be able to drive a commercial bus. Prior to the first day of school, get permission to load onto your bus and drive along the requested route for you. If possible, take along a monitor or another bus driver to help you learn and master the route. Driving along the route before the first day of school will give you the chance to get used to any narrow turns and figure out exactly where to stop in each neighborhood.
2. Be sure that the buses are appropriately clean
Buses that are not clean and have hazards around present a safety issue for you and for the children that you drive. Before you get in the bus in the morning, do a quick look around all of the seats. Make sure that there is nothing sharp sticking out of the seats or on the sides of the bus. Clean up any paper or debris with a broom before getting started picking up children. After dropping children off, do another sweep around the bus and turn in any lost items to the school lost and found. This will make sure that kids can sit, stand, and walk safely.
3. Refrain from taking off too fast
When you load children onto the bus, it is important that you wait to shift into gear and leave until they have all sat in their seat. Do not pull off until everyone is safely in their seat after a pickup. If possible, have the district assign seating on a crowded school bus so that every child knows their space during the bus ride. This will decrease the possibility of anyone standing while you are driving or attempting to switch places after the bus takes off.