As summer days start dwindling, parents across Canada are getting their kids ready to get back to school – but who’s making sure school bus drivers are ready to hit the road?

Each school day, drivers are responsible to protect the safety of the children on their bus, as well as anyone else using the road. Besides the skills they require to operate a massive vehicle capable of carrying up to 72 passengers, school bus drivers need to be keenly aware of traffic and weather conditions, all while maintaining a schedule that delivers kids to school on time. School bus driver training is an intense process involving hours of specialized education in class and on the road to ensure drivers are prepared to transport their precious cargo.

What Drivers Need to Know

There are some areas of training for school bus drivers that are obvious: knowledge of traffic laws, policies and procedures related to driving; demonstrating excellent driving skills and operation of a school bus; and maintaining a clean driving record. But what other areas are covered to make sure drivers are working at their absolute best?

  • Proper use of school bus equipment
  • Pre and post-trip vehicle safety inspections
  • Safe driving techniques, including defensive driving skills
  • Procedures for loading and unloading passengers
  • Procedures for entering and exiting school zones
  • First Aid and CPR
  • Accident and emergency response

Bus companies also have the right to confirm at regular intervals that their bus drivers hold a valid license through the Driver’s License Status Check. In addition, drivers are encouraged to take certified driver improvement courses and intermittent re-examinations to brush up on new techniques and improve their skills, one of which is often forgotten: driver attitude.

What’s Attitude Got To Do With It?

We’ve all been there. Maybe you’ve just had a fight with your husband or wife. Maybe someone cut you off at the last intersection – or maybe you’re just having a bad day. At some point, most of us have found ourselves behind the wheel of our car while in a negative mind frame, making driving even more hazardous. Now imagine the implications of that negative mind frame when a school bus driver has a vehicle full of children.

It’s important for school bus drivers to maintain a calm, rational demeanour that’s reflected in the way they operate their vehicles. Thankfully, there are resources available that assist drivers in making smart decisions and recognizing potentially risky situations.

It’s All About the Attitude! School is a 60 minute DVD designed to provide additional school bus driver training outside the typical “rules and regulations.” Drivers will learn how outside factors affect the way they transport their charges, with topics ranging from Risk Tolerance to Causes and Effects of Aggressive Driving.

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If you’re a school bus driver or responsible for a fleet of vehicles at a bus company, check out the online preview for this valuable 9 segment training DVD. No amount of training or knowledge is too much when it comes to the safety of children. Take the time today to make sure you’re doing all you can to be the best bus driver on the road.

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Maureen McGillis

Digital Marketing Strategist

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