School bus drivers have been safely delivering children to school for generations. Committed professionals, they truly care about the well-being of the children they transport. Rigorously trained, regulated and monitored, no other drivers on the nation’s roads are required to have as much training and testing as those who drive the school bus. Multiple layers of qualifications are why school bus drivers are some of the safest and well-trained professional drivers among the nation’s transportation industries.
At the federal level, all school bus drivers must obtain a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL). They must be at least 18 years old (21 to drive outside the licensing state) and pass rigorous written and skills tests. Pre-employment drug testing, and on-going random drug and alcohol testing is required. Drivers must also meet physical and medical requirements to ensure they are fit for the demands of their job.
Once licensed, school bus drivers are carefully monitored. They can be temporarily disqualified from driving a school bus for as few as two traffic violations in three years. Additional state-level requirements vary, but can include background investigations, behavior-management training and additional skills training. They undergo training in maneuvering busses through challenging environments, crisis intervention, communication skills, vehicle inspection and first aid.
On top of the federal and state requirements, private school bus transportation providers add their own standards for the drivers they employ. Detailed records are kept for all operators, vehicles and related staff. Unlike school districts, private-sector providers are subject to Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) record keeping regulations.
Over the year, ASBC will celebrate the drivers who made in through the regulation hurdles and demonstrate their dedication to their professional and students.
District and Operations News
Through developing a team, keeping ahead of regulations, and setting up processes, the district or contractor operations director brings everything together. Over the year, we will spotlight exemplary operations.
Innovations and Best Practices
Nothing stays the same. The school bus may still be yellow, but there are many technological improvements that are made to it each year. Throughout the year, ASBC will highlight new advances in the yellow bus.