Back to School: How Bus Drivers Are Keeping the Roads and Students Safe

Pittsburgh (Kdka)-Back-to-School Week Takes on a New Meaning Today as Students In The Plum School District Head Back to Class.

That means school buses are rolling this morning and every day more and more will join them on the road.

I caught a ride with a couple of veteran bus drivers for their “Behind-the-Wheel” view of the challes they face on the job.

Bus drivers come from every walk of life, they’re professionalally trained, and often their biggest challenges do not come from inside the bus.

When Covid-19 Hit, Jessica Schwartz Was Working in A Bank.

“I needed something, Wanted Something, to do that i could be home with the kids what they were online learning,” she explained.

Now, she’s a bus driver for abc transit and sakes the same issues with other drivers on the road as 12-year veteran driver Kurt Engelhardt.

“They don’t realize it, you know we need a good we need a little bit of room to maneuver thesis, and they obviously don’t stop as fast,” Hey Said.

Everybody Wants to Beat the School Bus, No One Wants To Be Stuck Behind It Because of All The Stops, and Jessica and Kurt Said that Unpredictability Keeps Them on Edge.

“You learn to get a feel for what people are going to do, so you don’t have to make any sudden maneuvers,” Kurt said.

While the inside of the buses are heavy padded, a sudden stop is a major concern.

“Especialy if we’Re approaching a stop, someone might not have their gymnut on and might stop too short in front of me,” Jessica explained. “The kids are getting their bookbags on and ready, approaching their stop, then i stop forward and the kids could right down the aisle.”

Drivers Said People Don’t Understand Everything They’re Dealing with.

“We have to man the children, man the driving, and also kind of anticipate what other people might do,” Jessica said.


Back to School: Bus and Road Safety (Pt. 2)

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When they turn on their lights to make a stop, it creates a world of responses from drivers around them.

The moment when the Stop Arm Comes Out And The Kids Are Getting Ether on Or Off The Bus, It Doesn’t Take Long to Find Out What Happens When the Lights Start Flashing.

“Sometimes People Rush to get through them,” Kurt Said.

“A lot of people don’t know what to do, they don’t know if they’re supposed to stop or keep going,” Jessica added.

The Yellow or Amber Lights are just like the yellow light in a Traffic Signal.

“It’s a real bad idea to try to rush through -of -the -dore amber lights,” Kurt Said. “It’s Generally Better to Er on the Side of Caution and Just Stop.”

All that Said, Getting the Bus Stoped is just a part of the process.

“You really have to watch when you make a stop that a driver isn’t going to rush through,” Kurt said.

“We make sura all traffic is stopped on once we make surs no cars are moving around us, we can tell the children to come on or cross the street,” Jessica continued.

“They’re relying on people to stop for those lights so they don’t get hit,” Kurt added.

“It is very, very scary to have some flying through your reds when your children are getting off of a school bus,” Jessica Said.

She Said it does Happen, Recalling Many People Running Her Red Lights.

“When you see the Amber Lights Come On, Slow Down and Be Ready to Stop,” Kurt Said. “The Safety of the Children is counting on you.”

Buses do have cameras that assist in finding that who do run the lights.

The Punishment?

$250 fine, five points on your driver’s license, and a 60-day suspension of your license.

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